Bayer Can’t Keep Essure Cases in Fed. Court

(July 25, 2018)  Bayer can’t keep Essure cases in federal court, said a Pennsylvania federal judge on Monday.  The judge ordered 16 consolidated Essure lawsuits back to state court.  The cases were brought by women who allege they were hurt by Bayer’s Essure birth control / sterilization device.  The judge found Bayer had failed to establish federal jurisdiction over the lawsuits.  The Big Pharma giant – now trying to buy the much-despised Monsanto juggernaut – had filed a petition in an attempt to keep the Essure cases in federal court.

In his ruling against Bayer, U.S. District Judge John R. Padova cited a piece of the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial Riegel v. Medtronic decision.  The judge said that ruling made clear that Congress intended the state courts to resolve cases like those of the women suing Bayer over Essure.  The women’s suits claim Bayer AG violated state laws that parallel federal requirements for medical devices. According to the high court’s Riegel opinion, under the 1976 Medical Device Amendments Act — which regulates medical devices for safety and effectiveness — state claims in medical device cases are barred only if they seek to impose non-federal requirements.

Judge Padova said, “[U]nder the congressionally-designed scheme, the MDA permits individuals to bring state law causes of action alleging violations of duties that parallel the federal requirements. (It) would be entirely inconsistent with this structure to conclude that Congress intended all such state law causes of action to be brought in federal court.”

The judge’s using Riegel v. Medtonic to rule against a corporation’s wishes is more than a little ironic; the Riegel ruling by the nation’s highest court virtually erased liability for most medical device makers, if their device had been approved by the FDA.  In a scheme known as “preemption,” Medtronic had argued – in a nutshell – that it was impossible to fulfill both state and federal obligations regarding a warning label. It was a specious argument at best, but it was enough to give a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court cover to back corporate immunity at the expense of injured U.S. citizens.

Judge Padova’s ruling in this case recalls Macbeth’s hesitation in pondering the murder of Duncan.  He wisely worries, “That we but teach bloody instructions, which, being taught, return to plague the inventor.”  Thus Riegel v. Medtonic has returned to plague the inventors, corporations angling for total immunity from liability.

Judge Padova sent the 16 Essure lawsuits back to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, where they had first been filed.

Bayer Halts Essure Sales
Bayer’s Essure birth control — or sterilization — device is a medical coil placed in a woman’s fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy. On July 20, 2018, Bayer said it had decided to stop selling or distributing Essure in the U.S. by the end of the year. The company said in a statement that it had concluded its Essure business was no longer sustainable after years of declining U.S. sales, though Bayer was quick to note that it still stood by the safety and efficacy of Essure.

In April 2018, the FDA required an unusual limitation on Essure sales.  The agency said Essure can be used only if patients are directly informed of its potentially serious side effects.  Essure’s most serious risks – including perforation of the uterus or fallopian tubes – are listed on a black box warning which has appeared on Essure’s label since 2016.

The 16 women in these cases claim Essure migrates from the fallopian tubes and then breaks into pieces. The claimants allege that they’ve suffered severe and permanent injuries.

The women also charge that Bayer negligently trained doctors to implant the Essure device.  They claim Bayer failed to tell the FDA about Essure’s adverse event reports, and failed to include them in the company’s own risk analysis.

Bayer Can’t Keep Essure Cases in Fed. Court
The judge also rejected Bayer’s argument that the cases present substantial disputes of federal law.  He said Bayer didn’t elaborate on what those would be.

Judge Padova said, “Moreover, it has not established that the resolution of any dispute would have ramifications in federal cases outside of the Essure context or is otherwise important to the ‘federal system as a whole.   (We) conclude that Bayer has failed to identify any federal issue that holds significance for anyone other than the parties.”

The case is McLaughlin v. Bayer Essure Inc. et al., case number 2:14-cv-07315, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

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Cell Phone Cancer Link? Maybe.

Is there a Cell Phone Radiation Lawsuitcell phone cancer link?  The answer is, “Maybe.”  That’s the latest conclusion from a study on rats unfortunate enough to be recruited for it.  Most of the rest of us have also been recruited for quite some time, though many of us might not yet know it.

Related:  NBC News raises question to discount it

Brain tumors are typically slow growing.  They can take 20-30 years to develop, which is roughly the time most of us have been living with cell phones stuck to our heads.  Maybe we’re made of wood and no amount of radiation from the phones can hurt us.  Or maybe we should note that we are not made of wood, that radiation is real, and that we don’t know as much about it as we think we do, or as much as the people who call themselves scientists think they do.

Malignant Schwannomas

In Spring 2018, the National Toxicology Program (part of NIH) drafted a report on two long-running studies regarding cell phone radiation’s health effects. The researchers found exposure to high levels of radiofrequency radiation linked with a slight increase in the incidence of malignant schwannomas.  That is a rare type of tumor in nerve tissues near the hearts of male rats.

Researchers also found a radiation link with damage to heart tissue in both girl and boy rats. Mice had no similar effects.  Both mammal species’ entire bodies were exposed to high levels of radio frequency radiation nine hours per day for up to two years. (Keep in mind, that is a comparatively tiny amount of time exposed considering the radiation most of us have been exposed to daily for decades now.  But you do the math, extrapolate, compare, and see what you think. Don’t forget to factor in so-called Smart meters and “Smart” appliances, cell phone towers, Wifi — some or all of which radiate most of us almost constantly — and  the rest of the radiation soup we’ve lived in for years.)

In May 2018, a panel of peer reviewers met for three days to discuss the rat and mice studies and determine conclusions.  The reviewers voted to increase the level of confidence in their findings.  They concluded there was a clear link between the radio frequency radiation exposure and the male rat heart tissue tumors. The National Toxicology Program must now decide whether to accept the panel’s recommendation before the final report is released.   (Cue the telecom industry lobbyists to discount any “negative” health conclusions of this study, or see NBC News above do it for them.)

The studies, the “experts” say, are far from conclusive. The studies have yet to be peer-reviewed,  but some of the findings are scary enough to warrant public discussion (if only the public could be made to discuss its failing health, beyond being forced to buy “health” insurance).

Two previous papers on the studies noted that “studies published to date have not demonstrated consistently increased incidences of tumors at any site associated with exposure to cell phone RFR [radio frequency radiation] in rats or mice.”  But the researchers felt that “based on the designs of the existing studies, it is difficult to definitively conclude that these negative results clearly indicate that cell phone RFR is not carcinogenic.”

So because no clear conclusion can be drawn that proves cell phones cause cancer, we are told not to worry.  Clearly, we will need many dead of brain tumors in the exact same area of the head before we will see “the experts” venture to draw any conclusion regarding the safety of cell phones.

This study does, nonetheless, raise the instinctual fears many of us have that holding radiation-emitting devices to our heads that heat them and alter our natural frequencies may not be healthy.

Devil in the Details

The studies exposed mice and rats to both 900 MHz and 1900 Mhz wavelength radio waves (each frequency being its own experiment) for about 9 hours per day.  The mad scientists torturing the rodents varied the strengths from 1 to 10 watts per kilogram. For comparison, the general limit the FCC imposes for exposure is 0.08 W/kg.  The absolute maximum allowed, for the extremities of people with occupational exposures, is 20 W/kg for no longer than 6 minutes. So the poor mice were being pretty severely blasted, perhaps to get at the truth of radiation; or perhaps to later say that people are not so severely blasted, so nobody can use this experiment as any sort of relevant comparison to human exposure. (We report, you decide).

In addition, it is worth noting that a recent investigation of cell phones has found that most are emitting dangerously high levels of radiation far beyond what their makers say they emit and far beyond the FCC limits for radiation exposure. (See that Natural News story here.)

NTP senior scientist John Bucher explained away the findings in just that fashion in a news release that accompanied the papers.  “The levels and duration of exposure to RFR were much greater than what people experience with even the highest level of cell phone use, and exposed the rodents’ whole bodies,” said Mr. Bucher.  “So, these findings should not be directly extrapolated to human cell phone usage.”

Mouse Tumors Match People Tumors

But in the next breath, Mr. Bucher also showed some comparison could be made with humans. “We note, however,” said he, “that the tumors we saw in these studies are similar to tumors previously reported in some studies of frequent cell phone users.”

As with most of these studies which try to use rat results to duplicate the experiences of human beings, no definite conclusions can be drawn, and the researchers recommend further testing. That testing is ongoing, of course, in the millions of humans living with radiation-producing cell phones closely tethered to their bodies and brains.

Cell Cancer Lawsuit

Our law firm is investigating possible links between cell phone radiation and brain cancer.  Call us for a free legal consultation if you or someone you love has been diagnosed with brain cancer following heavy cell phone use.

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New study questions IVC filters

(July 16, 2018)  Bard IVC Filter Lawsuit | Blood Clot Filter LawyerA new study questions the use of IVC filters in DVT patients undergoing CDT, catheter-directed thrombosis. The study led by Temple University showed no in-hospital mortality benefit, and worse.  It  showed IVC filters associated with increased procedure-related hematomas, and it also showed that using IVC filters led to lengthier hospital stays and higher bills.

IVC filters are thought to treat DVT, deep-vein thrombosis; though their effectiveness in that regard has been questioned by several recent IVC filter lawsuits.  DVT occurs when blood clots develop in the deep veins of the legs, thigh, or pelvis. These clots can break loose, travel to the lungs, and cause life-threatening pulmonary embolism (PE).  Proximal DVT – a clot in the thigh or pelvis – has been linked with a higher risk for post-thrombotic syndrome.

Post Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS) and Catheter-Directed Thrombosis (CDT)

PTS is a painful condition characterized by swelling, redness, and leg sores.  In hopes of reducing the high incidence of PTS in patients treated solely with a blood thinner, many doctors today use catheter-directed thrombolysis.  CDT is a minimally invasive procedure in which an infusion catheter delivers clot-busting drugs directly into the clot.  Fluoroscopically guided, CDT can potentially reestablish blood flow through a newly-blocked vein.

In hopes of preventing clots from breaking loose and migrating to the lungs during a CDT procedure, some doctors choose to also implant an inferior vena cava filter (IVCF) at the same time.  IVCFs are wire-basket-like devices inserted into the inferior vena cava, a large vein that returns blood from the lower body to the heart and lungs.  IVCFs are used on the theory that they capture blood clots which would otherwise reach the lungs. There is some evidence to support the IVCF theory; but it is scant, overall, and far from convincing, which has led to IVC filter lawsuits.

Any IVC Filter Benefit is Unclear

A research team led by Riyaz Bashir, MD, FACC, RVT, Professor of Medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM), and Director of Vascular and Endovascular Medicine at Temple University Hospital (TUH), sought to address the question of whether there is any benefit of IVCF placement at the time of CDT.  The team began by examining nationwide utilization rates of IVCFs in patients undergoing CDT.  They wanted to assess contemporary trends and compare outcomes with patients who do not undergo IVCF placement. The team’s findings were published online July 16, 2018 and also in the July 23rd issue of the journal JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Limited Data for IVCF Patients – 7 Years

“Limited data exists on the effectiveness of IVCF use in patients undergoing CDT for the treatment of proximal DVT,” said Dr. Bashir. “This study is noteworthy because it is the first to evaluate national trends and comparative outcomes related to this practice.”

The research team used the National Inpatient Sample database to identify every person in the U.S. with DVT who underwent CDT (with and without IVCF placement) from January 2005 to December 2013.

The team’s findings include these conclusions:

  • IVCF used in patients undergoing CDT for DVT was not associated with any significant in-hospital mortality decrease compared to patients who did not receive an IVCF.
  • IVCF used in patients undergoing CDT for DVT was associated with an increase in procedure-related hematoma formation (3.4% vs. 2.1%), in-hospital costs ($104,049 vs. $92,881) and length of stay (7.3 days vs. 6.9 days) compared to patients who did not receive an IVCF.

Dr. Bashir said that based on these results, his team believes, “IVCFs should not be routinely placed in patients undergoing CDT.”  Dr. Bashir also called for more well-designed, randomized control trials “to elucidate the implications of IVCF placement in patients undergoing CDT.”

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J&J ordered to pay $4.7 Billion for Talc Powder Cancer

(July 12, 2018)  J&J Talcum Powder Lawsuitwas ordered to pay 22 women nearly $4.7 billion for   cancer they developed after using J&J talcum powder.  The women had all used Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and/or J&J’s Shower-to-Shower.  A St. Louis jury agreed with the women’s attorneys that J&J’s talcum powder contained asbestos that gave them cancer.  Six of the 22 women had died of ovarian cancer before the six-week trial.  The jury award included $550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion more in punitive damages.

The 12 St. Louis Circuit Court jurors deliberated for less than a day.  They unanimously held both J&J and J&J Consumer liable for strict liability and negligence for all of the plaintiffs’ injuries.  They awarded each woman suing alone $25 million, and generally awarded each woman whose lawsuit included her husband $12.5 million each.

The jury also found both J&J companies liable for punitive damages for each of the plaintiffs.  The jury deliberated for the punitive damages phase less than two hours.  They then awarded the heavy punitives – $3.15 billion for J&J, $990 million for J&J Consumer.  In addition to the unanimous vote for damages, the jury voted 11-1 for the J&J punitive damages verdict, and unanimously for the J&J Consumer verdict.

The women’s attorney, Mark Lanier, told the jury Jonson & Johnson covered up evidence of asbestos in their products for more than 40 years.  “We hope this verdict will get the attention of the J&J board,” he said, “(and) lead them to better inform the medical community and the public about the connection between asbestos, talc, and ovarian cancer.”

During the punitive damages phase arguments the jury heard after delivering their first verdict, Mr. Lanier told the jury that J&J “deliberately exposed millions of Americans” to a dangerous substance and asked them to impose a verdict the company would notice.

During regular closing arguments, Mr. Lanier told the jury the evidence was there that J&J had covered up testing data and scientific studies that it knew showed the cosmetic-grade talc in Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower contained asbestos.

In closing, Mr. Lanier also described for the jury the plaintiffs and their families, and reminded jurors of details of their testimony. He also told jurors they knew J&J had the motive (money) and the means (asbestos-tainted talc) to cause the injuries suffered by his clients.

CSI St. Louis
“This is CSI St. Louis, in a sense,” said Mr. Lanier.  “It’s your job to determine who is responsible, and the evidence says it’s Johnson & Johnson (and) that responsible party needs to be brought to justice.  (As) I told you at opening, it’s an easy thing to do.  You’ve seen it on TV. You’ve just got to follow the evidence.”

J&J Defense: “Stories are just fiction.”

Speaking for J&J’s defense in closing, attorney Peter Bicks criticized Lanier’s style.  Mr. Bicks told the jury an old lawyer aphorism that says: “When the facts are on your side, use the facts, when the law is on your side, use the law, and when you’ve got neither, bang the table.”   He credited Mr. Lanier credit as being a “showman” and a “storyteller, but some stories are just fiction.”

Mr. Bicks argued that the fiction being told is that J&J is only about profit and keeping an unsafe product on shelves to make a buck.  He reminded the jury of prior testimony from J&J’s own representatives, Susan Nicholson and John Hopkins.  They had told the jury not only that J&J talc was tested and found to be asbestos-free, but that they used it on themselves and their children.

Mr. Bicks said the talc litigation was driven by plaintiffs’ lawyers.  He said all the plaintiffs had discovered the alleged link between talcum powder and cancer through television ads sponsored by attorneys.

Following the verdict, J&J spokesperson Carol Goodrich also objected to the form of the trial. She said that allowing 22 plaintiffs to proceed in one case resulted in prejudice against J&J.  She said that despite their individual circumstances [some had died, some had survived, etc.], the verdict awarded each roughly the same amount.

Ms. Goodrich also said most of the women had no connection to Missouri, which J&J attorneys are sure to point out in an appeals process that she said would be forthcoming.

J&J ordered to pay $4.7 Billion for Talc Powder Cancer

Only time will tell if this verdict will be thrown out.  Many others have following judgements from this St. Louis court.  Things went south for plaintiffs generally after the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year made a ruling which made it very difficult for injured people to sue a corporation in any state but their own or in the state where the corporation is located.

The American court system continues to move further and further to the right, at the behest of corporations at the expense of citizens.  But at the very least, this attention-grabbing verdict gives plaintiffs some hope that justice is still possible for them.  People injured by corporations which exist first and last to make profits for their own executives and shareholders need to be held accountable.  We congratulate the plaintiffs on the verdict and we congratulate Mr. Lanier, who we know – despite what the future may hold – is unquestionably right about at least one thing:  this St. Louis jury did give Johnson & Johnson a verdict the company will notice.

The case is Ingham v. Johnson & Johnson et al., case number 1522-CC10417, in the 22nd Judicial Circuit of Missouri.

Related

Talcum Powder Cancer Attorney

J&J’s Flagship Product Trouble

Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Propaganda

J&J ordered to pay $4.7 Billion for Talc Cancer

 

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Experts can share Roundup Cancer Link

A California judge has ruled a plaintiff’s experts can share a Roundup cancer link with a jury in the first trial against Monsanto over its most popular poison Roundup.  A Monsanto lawsuit will consequently go forward.

Monsanto attorneys had attempted through numerous Daubert challenges to have the judge remove all of the plaintiff’s expert witnesses from the trial.  The judge’s decision to allow the testimony of three plaintiff’s experts could have far-reaching consequences.   Any testimony which links Roundup to cancer – more specifically non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – may threaten Monsanto’s majority market share of the chemical farming poison industry.

Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco said evidence that Roundup causes cancer seems “weak,” but the judge allowed that there was enough of it to let a jury hear the plaintiff’s experts’ opinions of that evidence.  That decision means hundreds of lawsuits against Monsanto over its Roundup poison may move forward.

The lawsuits filed by cancer victims and their families say Monsanto knew for decades about Roundup’s cancer risk, yet failed to warn people of the dangers.

WHO Declares Glyphosate a Probable Carcinogen

Roundup lawsuits against Monsanto gathered steam in 2015 when the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared glyphosate — the listed active ingredient in Roundup — a “probable human carcinogen.”  That finding unleashed a firestorm of protest from the chemical giant and its industry partners, and a flood of friendly press stories defending Monsanto and Roundup.

Monsanto EPA Collusion

Fallout from criticism of the WHO’s Roundup cancer declaration also revealed collusion, or at the very least, the rank appearance of collusion, between the EPA and Monsanto.  An EPA scientist was shown in emails to have worked behind the scenes to help the chemical giant discredit any cancer link between Roundup and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. That EPA scientist (Jess Rowland) was shown in emails to have communicated with Monsanto to help the company thwart further study into the link between Roundup and cancer.  Another EPA scientist, dying of lymphoma herself, pleaded in an email with her Monsanto-linked colleague to tell the truth of Roundup’s link to cancer.

The EPA scientist working secretly to help Monsanto stuck by his guns in defending the company, but his dying colleague’s last efforts were not in vain.  Her telling email became public knowledge following lawsuit discovery which came to light when plaintiffs’ attorneys filed cases against Monsanto over Roundup.

Related:  Glyphosate poisons Cereal

Monsanto’s well-coordinated attacks against the WHO continue today, as press services across the country  — such as Reuter’s, Fortune magazine, and several others – continue a propaganda campaign to dismiss any Roundup cancer link.

Who’s using Junk Science?

In trying to have all of the plaintiff’s experts dismissed, Monsanto defense lawyers had tried to call all of the studies which found a Roundup cancer link “junk science.”  The hubris and hypocrisy of that Monsanto attack is astonishing.

In finding glyphosate a probable carcinogen, the WHO looked only at studies which were NOT sponsored, paid for, or otherwise connected with Monsanto.  WHO looked only at INDEPENDENT studies, those which were independent of Monsanto.  When the chemical giant’s defenders — like Reuter’s, Fortune, Snopes, and other fake news outlets — claim that hundreds of studies prove glyphosate is safe, they are looking only at studies paid for by Monsanto or sponsored by the company with a vested interest in the outcomes of those studies. Such studies which allow for no third-party (a disinterested third party) verification are the very definition of “junk science.”  Virtually all of the studies not paid for by Monsanto find some link between Roundup exposure and cancer.  Or else those studies which found no link between Roundup and cancer had major flaws.

Related:  Monsanto sued for False Advertising

Judge Chhabria spent a week in a March 2018 listening to testimony from epidemiologists on both sides of the argument. The judge asked both sides questions about the potential strengths and weaknesses of research on the cancer risk of glyphosate.

Testimony of UCLA Epidemiologist

A UCLA epidemiologist, Beate Ritz, testified that her review of scientific literature led to her conclusion that glyphosate and glyphosate-based compounds like Roundup can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Ms. Ritz said that a 2017 National Institute of Health study which found no association between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma had major flaws.

Monsanto Expert Testimony

Monsanto trotted out its own expert for the judge, a cancer epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  Lorelei Mucci lauded the 2017 NIH study and reached the opposite conclusion which Ms. Ritz had.  Ms. Mucci told the judge:  “When you look at the body of epidemiological literature on this topic, there’s no evidence of a positive association between glyphosate and NHL risk.”

Judge:  “We don’t yet know”

Judge Chhabria concluded that there was “at least a strong argument that the only reasonable conclusion one could draw right now is that we don’t yet know” whether the herbicide is causing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Monsanto developed glyphosate in the 1970s.  It classified the poison as an antibiotic, and among its many dangerous properties, it also contributes to the growing worldwide problem of antibiotic resistance.

Besides its link with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, glyphosate has also been linked to kidney disease, liver damage, birth defects, Parkinson’s disease and more. The poison is sold today in more than 160 countries. Farmers in California, the most agriculturally productive state in the U.S., use it on more than 200 types of crops.  Unwitting homeowners continue to use it on their lawns and gardens.

Monsanto also sells “terminator seeds” that can withstand the glyphosate as it kills the surrounding weeds and spawns superweeds which have evolved to withstand glyphosate’s toxic assault.  Glyphosate also kills the surrounding friendly flora and fauna in the environment as well as the friendly flora and fauna in the human gut.

The state of California added glyphosate to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer following the IARC pronouncement that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. Monsanto continues to attack the IARC, and it has sued the state of California to de-list glyphosate.

The U.S. EPA, which has been shown to be industry-compromised by its own internal emails with Monsanto, claims glyphosate is safe for people when used in accordance with label directions.  A draft report by EPA in 2017 claimed glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to people. The EPA report noted that science reviews by some other countries had reached the same conclusion, though Monsanto’s political and financial ties to those organizations make any such declarations questionable. Several countries, including France and Sweden, have banned glyphosate and Monsanto and other chemical company’s GMO’s.

Monsanto’s well-funded propaganda has paid off for the company in some respects, as a federal judge in Sacramento in February 2018 blocked California from requiring Roundup to carry a label stating that it is known to cause cancer.  The judge said the warning would be misleading because almost all regulators have concluded that there is no evidence glyphosate is carcinogenic.

Experts can share Roundup Cancer Link

The problem with any such decision is that Roundup has been shown to be many times more toxic than glyphosate alone. An industry-controlled glitch in the country’s chemical regulatory system allows chemicals like glyphosate to be tested alone, which is preposterous.  Glyphosate is only one active ingredient listed in Roundup, and nobody applies glyphosate alone, without all of its ostensibly inactive additives.  Many of the so-called “inert” ingredients in Roundup have recently been shown to not be inert at all.  The gatekeepers cannot be allowed to play that duplicitous little game any longer.  Too much is at stake. Our lives depend on getting the real science of Roundup poison out to the public at large, so that all the people can see what kind of chemical monsters are poisoning our food and our lives.

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Pelvic Mesh MDL Closing to New Cases

(July 11, 2018) The pelvic mesh Federal Judge Joseph Goodwinmultidistrict litigation (MDL) court is closing to new cases.  Judge Joseph Goodwin, who oversees the MDL court in Charleston, W. Va., made the announcement last month.

Medical Mesh News Desk reports that the pelvic mesh MDL court was created in January 2012.  At its height, it was handling nearly 105,000 cases. Judge Goodwin issued orders on June 21, 2018 that no more cases would be filed in his federal court.

No More Cases Accepted in MDL 2327
With the MDL closing, any new case filings will need to be in state court, according to the order issued by Judge Goodwin. The judge issued the same order in each of the seven pelvic mesh MDLs filed in his federal court.

Charleston, WV MDL Court Closing
The largest MDL court was established for Ethicon (Johnson & Johnson).  Judge Goodwin wrote in Pretrial Order #304 in the Ethicon MDL #2327, that since January 2018, his court has requested cases no longer be transferred to MDL 2327.

Related:  Johnson & Johnson, Ethicon Mesh Losses Mount

On June 19, 2018, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation entered a Minute Order:

“The court ORDERS that plaintiffs may no longer direct file claims against Ethicon, Inc. or Johnson & Johnson or any related entities in the Ethicon MDL (as set forth in PTO # 118) or in any other pelvic mesh MDL assigned to the court.”

The other six MDLs  with the same order include all of the major pelvic mesh makers – C.R. Bard MDL 2187; American Medical Systems MDL 2325; Boston Scientific MDL 2326; Coloplast MDL 2387; Cook Medical MDL 2440; Neomedic MDL 2511.

State Court Cases
Heretofore, it appears that any plaintiff’s lawyer wishing to pursue a newly-signed pelvic mesh case will need to file it in a state court venue, either in the state where the mesh maker is located or in the state where the plaintiff lives.

Mesh News Desk reports that it is not known whether the plaintiff will be able to share in the extensive MDL “Discovery” already gathered to support the MDL cases for trial.  Discovery costs can quickly reach half a million dollars or more in a single case, so the question is an important one. One advantage of an MDL court is that discovery costs can often be shared across several cases, so in theory at least, that cost savings is one advantage of the MDL court which could disappear in the face of any future pelvic mesh litigation pursued in state courts. The MDL system can also decidedly cut trial preparation time.

But before the doors close entirely, the federal West Virginia MDL court will host two Wave trials, Wave 7 and 8, against Ethicon.

Wave 7 and 8 Trials
Wave 8 cases in the Ethicon MDL, the last major trial by the federal MDL court, should be concluded with discovery by October 2018 and made trial ready in a June 13th order by Judge Goodwin.

Ethicon / Johnson & Johnson still faces Wave 7 trials of approximately 150 pelvic mesh-injured women whose cases will be heard in the West Virginia federal court. Final settlement conferences are scheduled for August 1, 2018, with trial set to begin August 14.

The West Virginia MDL once contained 104,749 cases representing plaintiffs filing pelvic mesh cases against seven mesh makers. New cases slowed to a trickle beginning in 2018.

Pelvic Mesh MDL Closing to New Cases

The cases of Carolyn Lewis v. Ethicon; Donna Cisson v Bard; Jo Huskey v Ethicon; Tyree v. Boston Scientific; among others, have all been heard in Charleston since 2012.

Thousands Dismissed with Prejudice for non-revision
In the Ethicon MDL, Medical Mesh News Desk also reported that Judge Goodwin just announced that he was dismissing thousands of cases with prejudice because they were non-revision cases.

In Pretrial Order #293, issued Wednesday, April 11, 2018, Judge Goodwin said that the court would dismiss more than 13,000 Ethicon mesh cases in which the plaintiff has a mesh in place but has not attempted any removal or revision.

That judiciary decision could prove unfortunate for several women. Many suffer from such compromised health that they fear any return to a doctor’s office could leave them in worse shape than if they took their chances with their current condition or injuries.  Any revision or removal surgery can sometimes leave a person in worse shape than she was in before she opted for the revision or removal.

As Jane Akre reports, “There are many reasons a woman may not have her pelvic mesh removed – compromised health, a risk of going under anesthesia, a new complication to her health, a warning from her doctor that the risks of revision outweigh the benefit – all might preclude having a mesh removal.  Now that may count against her.”

“Dismissed with prejudice” usually means that a plaintiff may not bring another legal action with the same claim. “Dismissed with prejudice” usually means that the case is dismissed permanently, with no future recourse for the plaintiff to seek compensation.

A possible silver lining, according to Mesh News Desk, is that Ethicon/JJ has reportedly agreed that plaintiffs with more than one office revision who have trigger point injections, vaginal physical therapy or vaginal Valium will be treated the same as those plaintiffs who undergo revision surgery within five years.

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Johnson & Johnson, Ethicon Mesh Losses Mount

(July 10, 2018) In 31 transvaginal mesh (TVM) trials so far, 22 have concluded with verdicts in favor of plaintiffs.  Eleven (or half) of those verdicts have gone against Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, which has seen its mesh losses mount faster than any other TVM manufacturer.  J&J has lost five verdicts over its Gynecare Prolift mesh, three for its TVT-O mesh, one for TVT-Abbrevo, one for TVT-Secur, and one for its polypropylene tape used to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI).

Related:  Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit

In 2016, the FDA reclassified transvaginal mesh for prolapse repair (but not SUI) as Class III (high risk) medical devices. The reclassification made TVM implants ineligible for FDA’s 510(k) clearance program. That program had previously allowed mesh products on the market without prior clinical trial testing on human beings.  But 510(k) clearance does not amount to FDA approval.  TVM or pelvic mesh devices are not FDA approved.

Johnson & Johnson, Ethicon Mesh Losses Mount

Besides fighting TVM cases in the courts, Johnson & Johnson and other defendants have also quietly settled hundreds of them. As with most settlements, terms are not disclosed and the companies that pay admit no wrongdoing.

Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon) Trials have yielded at least eleven (11) wins for plaintiffs so far. These include:

March 8, 2018 – $35 Million for Plaintiff (Gynecare Prolift)
A U.S. District Court for Northern Indiana jury hit Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon with a $35 million verdict over its Prolift pelvic mesh. ($10 million in damages and $25 million in punitive damages). Barbara Kaiser and her husband Anton Kaiser sued Ethicon in March 2012 after learning that the Prolift mesh her doctor implanted in 2009 to treat pelvic organ prolapse might be causing her low pelvic pain. The lawsuit petition accused J&J and Ethicon of concealing Prolift problems that included high failure, injury and complication rates, as well as “frequent and often debilitating re-operations.” Prolift “caused severe and irreversible injuries, conditions, and damage to a significant number of women, including plaintiff,” said the complaint.

The Kaisers also alleged that “[Ethicon] consistently under-reported and withheld information (about) Prolift’s propensity to fail and cause injury and complications, and have misrepresented the efficacy and safety of the products through various means and media, actively and intentionally misleading the medical community, patients, and the public at large.”

The Kaisers also alleged. “Defendants actively and intentionally misled and continue to mislead the public, including the medical community, health care providers, and patients, into believing their Prolift is safe and effective. . .”

Dec. 14, 2017 – $15 Million for Plaintiff (Prolift)
A New Jersey woman was awarded $15 million by a Bergen County (New York) Superior Court jury in her transvaginal mesh lawsuit. The verdict followed 2 ½ weeks of trial testimony and nearly a day of jury deliberation. The woman testified that she had been in constant pain since receiving an Ethicon mesh implant. Jurors found the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary had failed to adequately warn her of the risks associated with Ethicon’s Prolift mesh implant. They awarded her $4 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages, as well as awarding her husband $1 million for his loss of conjugal affection.

The jury also found Ethicon had failed to provide the woman with adequate safety warnings in regards to the TVT-O mesh implant, but they determined the Prolift mesh alone was responsible for her injuries. (Case No. L-13686-14)

September 6, 2017 – $57 Million for Plaintiff (TVT-Secur)
A Philadelphia jury awarded a woman $57.1 million in damages over a TVT-Secur mesh implant. Ella Ebaugh accused Johnson & Johnson unit Ethicon of making a defective pelvic mesh implant that scarred her urethra and left her incontinent. Her award included $50 million in punitive damages. The jury unanimously backed her claims that two negligently and defectively designed mesh devices had “mutilated” her urethra and left her with little control over her urinary flow.

May 26, 2017 – $2.16 Million for Plaintiff (Prolift)
A Pennsylvania jury awarded $2.16 million to a woman who suffered serious complications from Ethicon, Inc.’s Gynecare Prolift mesh. The verdict came in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. It was the fourth straight loss for Johnson & Johnson and its Ethicon division in a Pennsylvania transvaginal mesh lawsuit. (Case No. 130603835)

April 28, 2017 – $20 Million for Plaintiff (TVT-Secur)
A state-court jury in Philadelphia ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a New Jersey woman $20 million over a TVT-Secur pelvic mesh. The woman blames J&J’s vaginal-mesh inserts for leaving her in constant pain. The jury concluded that the TVT-Secur was defectively designed and caused Margaret Engleman’s injuries. They awarded her $2.5 million in damages and then hit J&J and Ethicon with $17.5 million in punitive damages.

February 2016 – $13.5 Million for Plaintiff (Polypropylene tape)
A jury in Philadelphia hit Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon with a $13.5 verdict in the second case involving its pelvic mesh products to go to trial in the city. The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas jury awarded Sharon Carlino $3.5 million in compensatory damages, $10 million in punitive damages. It found Ethicon transvaginal polypropylene tape implanted during a 2005 hysterectomy was defective. It also found that Ethicon failed to adequately warn of its risks. Ms. Carlino required three revision surgeries to remove the eroded mesh.

March 4, 2015 – $5.7 Million for Plaintiff (TVT Abbrevo)
A California jury in Los Angeles hit Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Inc. unit with a $5.7 million verdict. The jury sided with a woman who claimed her doctor had given her an older, heavier version of a pelvic mesh product that will cause her a lifetime of pain. The jury awarded plaintiff Coleen Perry $700,000 in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Ms. Perry had been implanted with Ethicon’s TVT Abbrevo mesh.

December 2015 – $12.5 Million for Plaintiff (Prolift)
A Philadelphia jury ruled Johnson & Johnson must pay $5.5 million to a Pennsylvania woman over its Ethicon unit’s Gynecare Prolift mesh implant. The jury found J&J liable based on the negligence of its scientists in relation to its Prolift pelvic mesh implant. They cited the mesh as the root cause of plaintiff Patricia Hammons’ inability to have sex after it was implanted. The jury later added $7 million in punitive damages.

A Pennsylvania state court judge ruled in 2014 that Johnson & Johnson and other pelvic mesh makers like Boston Scientific and Bard will need to challenge more than 860 product liability lawsuits on a case-by-case basis.

September 2014: $3.3 Million for Plaintiff (TVT-O)
In West Virginia, a federal jury in the MDL court hit Ethicon with a $3.3 million verdict over its TVT-O transvaginal sling. The jury found in favor of plaintiff Jo Huskey on all counts, which included strict liability, design defect, failure to warn, negligence.

April 3, 2014: $1.2 Million for Plaintiff (TVT-O)
A Dallas jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a Texas woman $1.2 million for a defective plastic sling – the TVT-O – which J & J’s Ethicon division makes and markets for stress urinary incontinence. Freese & Goss and Matthews & Associates represented the woman, Ms. Linda Batiste.

February 2013 – $11.11 Million for Plaintiff (Prolift)
A New Jersey jury awarded Linda Gross an $11.11 million verdict in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon over the company’s Prolift vaginal mesh product. Ms. Gross suffered 18 surgeries in repeated attempts to remove the failed mesh and resultant scar tissue. The jury found J&J had failed to warn patients and doctors about the risks of its mesh products and that the company made fraudulent misrepresentations.

Johnson & Johnson TVM Court Wins
Johnson & Johnson settled at least one Prolift trial which had reached the MDL courtroom, and it has won two TVM trials so far. In February 2014, company lawyers were able to have Judge Goodwyn dismiss the case of a Texas woman against Ethicon and J&J (Lewis v. Ethicon/JJ) in a TVT-O case, and a Texas jury awarded nothing in a Nov. 2015 case over a Prosima device that reached trial (Cavness v. Ethicon/JJ). J&J also settled with the plaintiff in at least one TVM case which reached trial in March 2015 (Bellew v. Ethicon/JJ).

Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits
Today, many thousands of TVM cases remain unresolved, parked in various state courts across the U.S. and in the federal MDL in West Virginia. The overseer of the federal MDL court, Justice Joseph Goodwyn, announced in June 2018 that he will no longer accept new mesh cases. Judge Goodwin has overseen several MDL trials and still has more than 100,000 cases on his books. He has urged the defendants to settle, some have occasionally obliged, but the sheer number of cases in the MDL makes it the largest federal court docket for mass tort litigation since asbestos.

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100,000 Women suing over Gynecological Mesh

(July 7, 2018)  The mainstream media has finally recognized that a huge number of women are suing mesh manufacturers over their plastic products.  A CBS news story reported last month that nearly 50,000 women are suing one mesh maker alone over gynecological mesh.  The polypropylene (plastic) mesh is often used to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI),  which affect millions of women.  At least 100,000 women across the country are suing over gynecological mesh.  Many have filed their cases in the multidistrict litigation court in West Virginia.  Several other pelvic mesh lawsuits have been filed in various state courts throughout the country.

Related:  Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit | Pelvic Mesh

Gynecological Mesh Makers

The CBS news story mentioned only Boston Scientific as a defendant in transvaginal mesh (TVM) cases, though several other gynecological mesh makers also face lawsuits.  Other defendants include Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon), American Medical Systems (AMS), C.R. Bard, Coloplast, and Cook Medical.

Sixty Minutes reported that Boston Scientific faces some 48,000 lawsuits in what has generated the largest multi-district litigation since asbestos. The suits claim mesh can inflict life-changing pain and injury.  Suits against Boston Scientific also claim the company used a mesh product never meant to be put inside the human body.

Related:  Johnson & Johnson Mesh Verdicts Mount 

More than two million American women have received gynecological mesh implants.  All the mesh makers claim their products are safe.

CBS News

CBS News reported the story of one woman implanted with a Boston Scientific gynecological mesh for stress urinary incontinence and also to lift organs that shifted after pregnancy. Gwyn Madsen had a Boston Scientific implant in 2012.

Gwyn Madsen told CBS that the mesh “felt like a cheese grater inside of me.”

Ms. Madsen said she suffered pain which left her barely able to sit or play with her children.  She said, “It felt like the material was pulling on the muscles and I’d get shooting pains.  You almost felt like there was something inside of you that was like sandpaper back and forth, every time you’d walk.”

Boston Scientific, which lost a $73 million verdict over  one of its TVM products following a 2016 trial in Texas, has fought allegations like Ms. Madsen’s for years.  The company told CBS: “Nearly one million women have been successfully treated.  (We) have extensively tested the [plastic] resin to confirm its composition, safety and performance.”

100,000 Women suing over Gynecological Mesh

The American Urogynecological Society – which has embraced the plastic mesh because it is easier to apply than the gold standard suture method for repairing POP or SUI – has also claimed plastic mesh is “safe and effective.”   Many doctors, however, disagree.

Dr. Michael Margolis testified for the woman who won a $73 million verdict in the Texas case.  He told CBS that the women’s mesh causes a chronic inflammatory reaction.  He has removed more than 350 mesh implants.

“The slings I’ve removed are substantially altered in their architecture,” Dr. Margolis told CBS.  “They are shrunk by at least 50% in width.  They are encased in scar tissue. The pores [in the mesh] shrunk substantially.”

Dr. Margolis showed CBS a mesh he removed which had been implanted.  It had shrunk substantially, he said, had folded, contracted, embedded in scar tissue, and was choking off the woman’s urethra.  He said it was half the size it had been upon implant.

Dr. Margolis told Scott Pelley the implant is “not supposed to change.”

Missing from the CBS story and interviews was the fact that Boston Scientific, as well as Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon, American Medical Systems (AMS), and Bard have all lost multi-million-dollar verdicts to women implanted with the companies’ transvaginal mesh products.

FDA:  Serious Adverse Events “not rare”

The story did include the fact that the FDA has issued a damning report regarding TVM mesh.  In 2011, the FDA said that it found mesh used to support organs after pregnancy had resulted in nearly 4,000 “reports of injury, death, and malfunction” and complications including “pain, infection, urinary problems, bleeding and organ perforation.”  The FDA wrote that, “Serious adverse events are not rare.”

Indeed.   At least 100,000 women would apparently agree with that statement.

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EPA helps Monsanto hide non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Link

(July 5, 2018)  The EPA helps Monsanto hide a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma link with the only active ingredient listed in the chemical giant’s Roundup. That’s the story that emerged when we pull back the curtain and expose the EPA for what it is.  As with many governmental regulators (like the CDC with its giant conflict of interest in vaccination), EPA works ostensibly as a government watchdog to protect people from profit-driven corporations.  In reality, as this latest evidence shows, the EPA works first for corporations and secondarily (if at all) for U.S. citizens.

Related:  Monsanto EPA Ties Cancerous

A new report proves the EPA purposely ignored evidence showing a clear link between glyphosate (in Monsanto’s Roundup and other pesticide poisons) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The report shows the EPA obscured, cherry-picked, and/or simply ignored data presented by a Scientific Advisory Panel charged with reviewing the EPA’s glyphosate evaluation. The evidence shows the EPA deliberately misrepresented the opinions of the scientific panel.

Roundup Lawsuits
The EPA’s covering for Monsanto comes doubly into play, as many farmers, landscapers, agricultural workers, and homeowners have taken Monsanto to court over Roundup links to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The plaintiffs accuse the chemical giant of lying about glyphosate’s safety profile.  Monsanto continues to claim that Roundup is “half as toxic as table salt.”  Hundreds of farmers and homeowners who have suffered with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup disagree.  Many have filed Roundup lawsuits that accuse Monsanto of hiding Roundup’s cancer-causing effects.  The research obscured and/or ignored by the EPA shows the link between Roundup and cancer is real.

EPA ignored glyphosate cancer link – 2017
Bloomberg reported that a panel of scientists not connected with Monsanto assembled in 2017 to review the EPA’s glyphosate evaluation. Fifteen experts comprised the Scientific Advisory Panel. Nearly all of them took issue with the EPA’s conclusion on glyphosate.  Eleven of the 15 disagreed with the EPA’s hasty decision to give glyphosate and Monsanto a free pass over Roundup and glyphosate’s links with cancer.

Four of the six reviewers assigned to evaluate epidemiological data criticized the EPA for disregarding pertinent data regarding glyphosate’s potential link with cancer.  All four of the “dissenters” are biomedical researchers at leading research universities. The two who approved of EPA’s glyphosate evaluation are private consultants, which means they work almost exclusively for industry interests.

EPA officials inexplicably tossed out all but one meta-analysis of epidemiological data. They claimed the rest of the results were “statistically invalid.” But the panelists discovered that this specious claim simply was not true. They found the data was valid.

EPA Monsanto Collusion Unveiled
After taking a second look at the data, the panelists found the discarded meta-analyses were statistically significant. That data showed that farmers exposed to glyphosate had an increased risk ratio for non-Hodgkin lymphoma of 1.27 to 1.5. Those figures mean those farmers experienced a 27- to 50-percent higher risk of cancer than control groups.

One of the researchers pointed out that women in America stopped taking post-menopause estrogen because of a 22-percent increased risk in breast cancer. The risk association of glyphosate nearly doubles that risk.

EPA Assessment “Highly Imbalanced (and) “Seriously Flawed”
A University of Washington at Seattle biostatistician, Lianne Sheppard, said the EPA’s assessment on glyphosate was “highly imbalanced. She said the EPA clearly downplayed relevant findings.

“The agency’s conclusion is seriously flawed and needs to be strongly revised,” said Ms. Sheppard.

EPA obscured criticisms of Itself
Besides willfully disregarding statistically significant information regarding glyphosate’s potential to cause cancer and promote tumor growth, the EPA has also taken steps to downplay the Panel’s criticisms of the EPA itself.

The EPA’s report on the Scientific Advisory Panel’s peer review does everything possible to hide the fact that most of the panelists criticized the EPA and its handling of the glyphosate analysis.

The EPA not only failed to disclose the number of scientists who launched criticisms at the EPA, it repeatedly used a lying euphemism in an attempt to cover up its fraudulent work. The EPA’s’s report used the lie of a phrase “some panel members” an astounding 76 times. Any 12-year-old child can see that substituting the word “some” for “a majority” or even “most” is simply a disingenuous way to lie and mislead.

That majority of panelists who criticized the EPA’s pseudo science could also criticize its pseudo independence, the EPA glaring conflict of interest with the pesticide industry. The EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs received nearly 30 percent of its funding from the pesticide industry last year. So who is this agency working for – the pesticide industry or the people targeted by the industry to buy pesticides?

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Quest Labs will pay $1.8 Million for overbilling scheme

(July 2, 2018)  Quest.8 Million for overbilling scheme"> Labs will pay $1.8 million for an overbilling scheme that defrauded Medicare and Medicaid.  That payment will likely not come as a surprise to the many Quest customers who level similar charges on the Quest review page at ConsumerAffairs.com.  There, some 267 Quest Diagnostics Consumer Reviews and Complaints (55 in the last year) average out to give Quest a dismal 1-star rating on a 1-5 star scale.  Those 267 reviewers are all verified, according to the web site.

Quest Diagnostics, Inc. and Quest Diagnostics Clinical Laboratories agreed to pay the U.S. $1.79 million, in April 2018, to settle claims of violations of the False Claims Act.

Echoing charges from many of the reviewers who question Quest’s billing practices on the Consumer Affairs web site, Quest was accused by the U.S. government of submitting duplicative claims to Medicare for several different tests.  Quest claimed its double billing was due to IT issues that affected some test codes in its system.  Quest denied any wrongdoing and said the problem won’t reoccur since the company updated its billing systems.

That said, we offer a typical example of the many one-star reviews of Quest Diagnostics.  One of the 267 verified reviewers, “S. Of Calif.”, published this statement on Jan 20, 2018:

“I have gone to Quest Diagnostics on my doctor’s recommendations since 2006. In that time I have had close to a million dollars in work performed by hospitals, clinics, and Quest labs. I have the entire time experienced with Quest only incorrect billing of my insurance on a consistent basis the entire time. I have multiple insurance overages. Quest not only billed my insurance companies but they, each time, have billed me forcing me to either pay the invoice or contact them to get it straightened out. This appears to be systemic with their billing practices. No other medical provider do I have this problem with. Now I am getting collection notices for bills that they were supposed to correct after alerting Quest that they had failed to bill it correctly. They refuse to correct the situation that they created causing me financial hardship and ongoing stress. With regard to the star rating if I could choose negative stars I would.”

Quest Diagnostic Whistleblower Lawsuit Settlement
Former Quest employee Eliza Martinez will receive $358,000 as her reward for blowing the whistle on Quest’s allegedly fraudulent billing practices.

Ms. Martinez testified that she saw Quest perform duplicate tests on the same patients on the same day, and then she saw Quest bill Medicare twice for that exact same test.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California investigated after Ms. Martinez filed the complaint. The settled claims are only allegations, by law; the government established no determination of liability.

One would think Quest makes enough dough not to overbill people or the government.  Quest generated some $7.5 billion in revenue in 2016.  The company runs more than 2,200 patient service centers that conduct lab tests.  Quest’s website says Quest “[s]erves about half of the physicians and hospitals in the U.S.”

Many of the Quest reviewers also question whether a company can be trusted to do its lab work right when it offers terrible customer service (never answering the phone is another common complaint) and then not only double bills but also erroneously turns those bills over to a collection agency.

Quest Lawsuit
It’s a fair question to ask, especially now that we know Quest has missed some diagnoses.  Quest is being sued today for missing a cancer diagnosis in more than 200 women in Ireland.  Quest has settled with a woman involved in at least one of those cases.  More than a dozen of the women have reportedly since died of cancer, while their survivors and others who believe they were misdiagnosed are also suing Quest for damages.  Quest lawsuits are being filed as a result.

Given the whistleblower lawsuit and the 267 awful reviews of Quest Diagnostics, one can only wonder whether this company is performing its diagnostic duties with the due diligence its customers expect and deserve.

Related
•  Quest Lawsuit
•  Whistleblower Lawsuit| Lawyer
•  Quest Labs will pay $1.8 Million for overbilling scheme

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