Free Case Evaluation
Connect
With Us

Breaking News! AMS Alleges "Scheme" to Profit from Transvaginal Mesh Injuries

dollar sign, WikiCommons

dollar sign, WikiCommons

A Mesh News Desk Exclusive, October 10, 2013 ~ A hearing in federal court in West Virginia, Thursday, will determine whether American Medical Systems (AMS) can pursue allegations of what it calls a “scheme” to create fraudulent transvaginal mesh removal records for profit and to stack the deck against the mesh maker in ongoing federal litigation.

The mesh manufacturer has filed subpoenas for discovery from  four who were allegedly involved – MedStar Funding and its owner attorney, Dan Christensen, One Point Orthopedics & Neurological Group and its associate, Otto Fisher.

AMS claims,

 

It seeks discovery related to apparent attempt to procure tainted medical records through financial arrangements with physicians, and to possible schemes to “manufacture” mesh removal/revision cases where treating physicians did not recommend such surgeries.” 

Dr. Andrew Cassidenti, urogynecologist

Dr. Andrew Cassidenti, urogynecologist

In court documents, AMS alleges it was tipped off to the plan by Southern California urogynecologist, Dr. Andrew Cassidenti, an occasional consultant to AMS.  The doctor reportedly called AMS August 30, to report he had been solicited to do vaginal mesh removals.

The inquiry came from Otto Fisher, who allegedly told Dr. Cassidenti he was a Florida-based “entrepreneur.”  According to the doctor’s affidavit, Fisher solicited the surgeon to perform mesh removals in Southern California and Las Vegas at outpatient surgery centers.  In return, the doctor would be paid $2,500 per removal, no matter how long it took and “whether mesh was found or not.”

It was the following alleged statement that prompted the subpoenas.

Dr. Cassidenti says he was told “There is a federal judge in West Virginia that needs to see key phrases in the operative report like ‘defective mesh,’ ‘bunched-up mesh,’ and ‘mesh erosions.’ “

When the doctor inquired as to whether he was being told what to put in a medical report, Fisher allegedly said, “No, but it’s just a game and we have to play it.”

According to court documents, Dr. Cassidenti was then referred to Dan Christensen of MedStar Funding.  MedStar is an Austin, Texas-based company that provides cash to medical providers to pay for their services when patients are unable to pay because a liability claim against a third party is pending in court.  The company utilizes a national network of brokers and consultants to provide cash with “quick turnaround” and “high commissions,” according to its website.

If the plaintiff loses their case, funding companies generally do not recover their investment.

Dr. Cassidenti says he told Christensen he was troubled having lawyers dictate the language to include in an operative report and to the characterization as “just a game.” The doctor said he was then told by the Christensen “You would not be helping the patients if you fix them but don’t help them win their mesh lawsuits.”

 

After some conversation, the two concluded Dr. Cassidenti would not be a “good fit” for the program.

In his affidavit, issued September 26, Dr. Cassidenti wrote “I fear plaintiff attorneys may be using this scheme to get what they feel is needed testimony from surgeons to win their mesh lawsuits. I do not believe that pelvic mesh devices for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse are defective and I strongly support their continued use.”

An attorney for AMS, Barbara Binis of Reed Smith of Philadelphia told Mesh News Desk the “motion speaks for itself.”

AMS wants to discover whether any plaintiff’s medical records have resulted from any “deal” to raise the value of their litigation claims, which it claims is critical to their defense.  That could include documents referencing mesh revision or excision surgery for any other woman who has filed a lawsuit against AMS over its transvaginal mesh used to treat stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse, consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia (MDL 2325).

At the present time there are 10,633 defective product and failure-to-warn cases filed in that federal court that name AMS and its mesh products. .

Bellwether Case Records

AMS also wants any and all documents on the mesh revision or excision surgery of Lisa Marie Fontes, Deborah Jilovec, Joann Serrano and/or Mary Weiler, the four women who are the plaintiffs in the upcoming AMS trials in federal court in Charleston.

The four women have been selected as bellwether cases that represent the class of injured.  AMS asks for all documents identifying the name of the physician who the women were referred to their operative report.

Otto Fisher and Gina Marie Fiorese,Facebook

Otto Fisher and Gina Marie Fiorese, Facebook

Otto Fisher

AMS filed a motion for the records from One Point Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Group Inc. The company lists its president as Gina Marie Fiorese, seen here in a Facebook page with a man identified as Otto Fisher. Mr. Fisher did not get back to Mesh News Desk for comment by the time of publishing. The company’s status is “inactive” according to the Florida Division of Corporations.

Dan Christensen

Christensen’s attorney Alex Macia of Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC of Charleston, WV send Mesh News Desk his client’s Motion to Quash the subpoena on the basis it is too broad and would require Christensen to review hundreds of thousands of documents for references to transvaginal mesh claimants.

Dan ChristensenTMV (transvaginal mesh) litigation and medical treatment bills represent less than one percent of MedStar’s relatively small business, the court document says. Macia also writes:

“Let us be clear: The allegations leveled by the defendant, American Medical Systems, Inc. should be investigated, but in a rational and deliberate fashion. The scope of the investigation, however, should not be allowed to spiral out of control based on unfounded speculation.”

MedStar has reportedly purchased 10 accounts from Otto Fisher’s company that pertain to patients with claims filed in transvaginal mesh multidistrict litigation.

Attorney Alex Macia

Attorney Alex Macia

The Motion says MedStar is not a company that would fabricate bills to increase damages in multidistrict litigation and the “scheme” alleged by AMS would at most apply to the 10 cases before the MDL. It asks the AMS subpoena be quashed or dramatically limited to the approximately 10 cases before the Court.

Attorney Macia adds Dr. Cassidenti is not a “disinterested person” but a paid consultant to AMS who received benefits “both directly and indirectly” from the company.

AMS is one of six mesh makers that altogether face more than 30,000 defective product and failure-to-warn claims consolidated in multidistrict litigation in Charleston, West Virginia, as well as thousands of claims filed in state courts around the country.

Endo Health purchased American Health Systems in 2011 for $2.9 billion and with it some of its debt, including the pending product liability lawsuits.

Motions to Quash and for Protective Order

Pending before the court are Plaintiffs ’ Motion to Quash Third-Party Subpoenas to Medstar Funding, One Point Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Group and Otto Fisher, (ECF No. 870), Plaintiffs’ Motion to Quash Third-Party Subpoenas to Medstar Funding, One Point Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Group and Otto Fisher, (ECF No. 872), and Motion to Quash Subpoenas Issued to Nonparties and Motion for Protective Order, (ECF No. 879).

The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, October 10 at 10:30 a.m. at the Sidney L. Christie Federal Building and Courthouse in Huntington, West Virginia. # *Editors Note – Pretrial Order #85 reset that hearing for 2:30 P.M.

Learn More:

AMS # 892 Defendants Omnibus Response to Motions to Quash Subpoenas Here

AMS #908  – Reply Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Quash Subpoenas Issued to Nonparties and Motion for Protective Order – Here

AMS #83 –  Hearing on Motions to Quash and Protective Order – Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 Comments

  1. Suzanne McClain says:

    I see this as having a negative impact on truly injured women. What in the world were these attorney’s thinking? They should be disbarred.

    • David says:

      Google otto fisher Allstate, otto fisher is a scam artist. He financially benefits at the risk of people’s lives.

      Scary to think these ladies lives are at risk.

  2. Dawn says:

    I agree with Suzanne, if there are ambulance chasers, punish them. As for this Dr saying this mesh is good and does not harm, he obviously doesn’t have it in him. Mesh is not a one size fits all, they should have tested it properly. If the 510(k) precedent that they used was recalled , they should have voluntarily pulled their product off the market too until the problems were fixed. When they say it would have cost too much money and the product would be out of date if they had done all the clinical testing needed… Says it all… We were their Guinea Pig test subjects for free… Now it’s coming back to bite them.. It doesn’t feel good to get bit in the ass, ask all us meshies !!

  3. jade says:

    Just keep mudding up the waters. The main players here are just unscrupulous money-seekers – look at Fiorese Facebook photo with Otto – do you really think she’s President of an orthopedic company?

    Everytime I think of how I walked into my implanting surgeon’s office the first time; how I confidently chose him; how I felt he was going to do the best he could for me; and subsequently, how he destroyed my life and sentenced me to a life of pain, I think… what are the odds? And, I think of this quote from the movie Casablanca –

    “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” – Humphrey Bogart, Casablanca

  4. Jane Akre says:

    Jade you made me laugh out loud!

    Who among you has AMS products?

    • Patricia Shaffer says:

      Jane, I have two AMS medical devices. I had a partial removal 2 yrs ago. Things have only gone down hill. I don’t know if my doctor’s notes mention mangled but my doctor showed it to my family and what they saw was a mangled mess of rotten mesh. Waiting for my insurance to approve an appointment with Dr. Flynn for a full removal. I lost 100% of my vagina from this mesh. I”m so mad at these men. Ladies, lets ask how this litigation would be different if it was about men’s health and a 100% loss of a male sexual organ. The case would be over and settled in a week!

      • Jane Akre says:

        Patricia~ I’m so sorry … I’ve not heard of a Dr. Flynn so please share with other on Facebook or here what you know… Everyone wants the very best care and a doctor who is very experienced at getting the arms out as well as the mesh. Thank you for writing.

        • Patricia Shaffer says:

          Thanks Jane, It is because of you that I have been able to follow so much mesh news. I live in

          Denver and used the vaginal mesh helpline to get medical and legal help. My first removal did help some problems but that doctor said he cannot remove any more mesh. I’ve had 7 pain blocks and nothing helps. All I want to do is to be able to play with my new baby great-grand- daughter. I really want to see Dr. Raz but do not have the funds. Someone on facebook mentioned Dr. Flynn at The University of Colorado. I am working to get special permission ffrom my insurance company because he is the only doctor in Colorado that uses ultra sound to find the migrating mesh and has done 400 complete removals. I will let you know how things go. Might be a few weeks before I can get a consulation.

          ]

          • Jane Akre says:

            Please let everyone know about this doctor. The full removal doctors are few and far between and patients must be reminded it is not going to be easy or convenient to find the right doctor. In my opinion, hearing about success stories from others is the best referral…. Please stay in touch and thank you!~ja

    • Paula says:

      I have the AMS mesh

    • jade says:

      Right back to you, Jane. The Harry Enfield videos was VERY funny! Thanks for the laughs.

      We all need to maintain our sense of humor throughout this ordeal.

    • Kate says:

      I have two AMS meshes; Perigee and Monarc sling.

  5. stopmeshimplants says:

    Just another diversion for AMS/ENDO and a reason to delay getting to the real facts. How sad. I have an AMS product and this news just makes me sick.

  6. Linda Ammons says:

    Not sure why, and was never told by my doctor, but when I was implanted in Jan 2006, I have product from both J&J and AMS; I then had problems right away and was repaired in June 2006 with a Cr Bard product. So I have 3 products from 3 different manufacturers, AMS being one of them.

    Nothing about my case has been fabricated and I hope this doesn’t affect any that do have real pain.

    There are always those that just have to jump on the bandwagon and try to take companies just for money. Hopefully this will be discovered as the case and everyone of them thrown out.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Hi Linda- Sorry about your trifecta. I don’t see anything about patients trying to take advantage here…..that may not be what you means. The documents sought on the four women mentioned are all bellwether cases for the upcoming AMS trials.

  7. carol says:

    The fact that there is a doctor somewhere gaming the system does in no way nullify the fact that these companies knowingly allowed many physicians to place these mesh strips mafe of material that should have never have been placed in humans. My life will never be the same. No amount of money could ever give methat back

  8. Jane Akre says:

    Just FYI,,,, a Pretrial Order #85 reset the time of the hearing today to 2:30, not this morning as reported here. Thank you.

  9. Bejah says:

    After reading this two thoughts come to mind…

    1. Clearly these are $2 con artists and we should not let them upset us

    2. You read that this physician is on the payroll of the corporation so lets not take him seriously…he is bought and paid for.

    3. This fact that this kind of thing is happening is evidence (to me) of how desperate and unethical these organizations are. I would not be surprised if it backfired dramatically

    4. When the stakes are high it draws out the worst elements. Let’s take a deep breath and continue to have faith.

    Gotta add….yea, of all the gin joints in town they always come into mine, too! STAY STRONG!!!!!

  10. guest says:

    Jane Akre needs to know that some of the women are being dropped from mesh cases because they spoke about mesh on her web site and talked to other women with mesh problems reaching out for help/ WHY? WHY? ARE SOME BEING TARGETED AND OTHERS NOT??? their cases are being dropped.! FOR TALKING ABOUT MESH, GETTING ANSWERS FROM OTHER WOMEN HOW TO HELP WHERE TO FIND HELP AND REMEDIES HOME REMEDIES THAT HELP, THAT WERE NOT GETTING ANSWERS FROM DOCS AND NURSES. this is a grave wrong.;

    THESE WEB SITES WERE STARTED FOR WOMEN THAT NEEDED ANSWERS, LETTERS SENT TELL THEY TALKED TO MUCH ABOUT MESH AND PROBLEMS, WANTING TO KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON. this is no lie.

    IT IS TRUE. AFTER SUFFERING AND HAD CASES , NOW BEING DROPPED FOR TALKING ON INTERNET AND TO OTHERS WANTING INFOMATION THEY WERE NOT GETTING. JANE AKRE, WHY ARE SOME BEING DROPPED BECAUSE THEY SPOKE ON WEB SITES WANTING ANSWERS?

    • Jane Akre says:

      You must give me names and a way to contact them so I can verify this information! It is possible that is a pretext, in other words, not the real reason but something the law firm can sell to them… sort of blame the victim. Maybe the case has some difficulties or angles that make it more of a challenge. That’s speculation on my part and my opinion only… please get back to me with this important information. Thank you. janeakre@meshnewsdesk.com BTW- I find it very interesting that you sign on as a guest! Exactly who are you!? Please identify yourself!!

    • g guest says:

      Jane, You know the gag that was put on women, and I am not doubting, that your investigating and reporting and writing about the mesh , getting to watch court rooms. but more courts than judge goodwin , are having mesh cases, and attoneys lying on clients, not answering phones calls, and not answering questions . When you mention to them when you do go to a doctor they say they want to know each time, but when you tell them what doctors and nurses are doing so cruel, they resonde we don’t want to know what you are going through with doctors we are not after doctors and nurses, just chemical companies. THEY DO NOT CARE, THEIR OWN WORDS ABOUT THE CRUELTY WOMEN GO THROUGH TRYING TO GET HELP, AND THEN THEY WANT TO THROW IT UP IN WOMEN’S FACES, THAT THEY ARE GOING TO DROP THEIR CASE BECAUSE THEY SAY YOU DON’T TRUST US, MIND GAMES, AND DOUBLE MINDED PEOPLE, LIES AND PROPAGANDA ALL GO HAND IN HAND TO COVER UP FOR THE BIG BUSINESS AND THOSE IN MEDICAL AND ESPECIALLY POLITICIANS IN EVERY STATE, . . i HAVE MY PROOF, i can show you lies in records, and then doctors that said no mesh, and then wrote in how much was protruding out, even in removal failure of a doctor , I wanted to trust, I tried to show not the gloom and doom side of frustrations and pain and more, as I WENT THROUGH OVER A YEAR OF PAIN SEEING HIM BEFORE HE SAID YES, AND THE BACK UP STORY THAT i CAN TELL OF BEING LIED TO , ABOUT THIS DOCTOR, . i have my proof in records that I am willing to show anyone, the attorneys that i got off tv, did dirty work to me, and lied. misleading, during a time , after surgery It took over a week to get an anti biotic , that put me back in hospital , the doctor said pneumonia, , I DID NOT THINK i was going to live, but again more lies , and cover up on follow up. JANE YOU KNOW WHAT LIES AND PROPAGANDA , COVER UP, BRIBES, AND THOSE THAT HAVE THOSE IN POWER PLACES, CAN DO TO ANYONE EVEN TO MAKE SURE THEY DO NOT GET SEE JUSTICE, WHY? >>>THEY DO NOT WANT THE TRUTH TO BE TOLD!  JANE, FRAUDULENT CASES i BELIEVE WERE FILED, BUT YOU KNOW HOW MEDIA COVERS UP,OR THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN EXPOSED YEARS AGO.

      JANE, WHAT SOME WOMEN HAVE HAD TO GO THROUGH WAS DONE ON PIURPOSE BY DOCTORS AND MORE ATTORNEYS THAT HAVE INTEREST IN THESE CHEMICAL COMPANIES THAT GAVE MONEY TO POLITICIANS IN STATES , FOR FAVORS, CAMPAIGN AND COVER UP, PROVOKING WOMEN TO ANGER, AND THEY ALL HAVE TAPES, OF SOME CUSSING TO TELL A JUDGE THE WOMEN IS CRAZY, AS SOME OF THE WOMEN HAVE HEARD , LIKE ME AND OTHERS ON WEB SITES, TELL THE DOCTORS THAT SAID NO MESH, YOU’RE CRAZY. THAT IS WHAT THESE TV SOORY SCUM ATTORNEYS DO TO WOMEN ALSO PLAYING THEIR MND GAMES WITH WOMEN, PROVOKING THEM TO ANGER. WITHDRAW SO THEY CANNOT GET ANOTHER ATTORNEY AFTER 3 YEARS, AND MONEY THAT COMPANIES AND DOCTORS WILL NOT HAVE TO LOSE. GOD HELP US.

      JANE AFTER THIS IS OVER IN COURTS, PLEASE DO CONSIDER , SINCE YOU WULD NOT ACCEPT BRIBES OFFERED , BY FOX NEWS , NOT MANY PEOPLE , WOULD HAVE SAID NO TO SUCH A BIG PROPAGANDA NEWS STATION, CONSIDER IF YOU WOULD NOT BE HURT BY TELLING THE TRUTH, START A NEWS STATION , WE THE PEOPLE CAN TRUST AND ALERTS THAT YOU KNOW ARE TRUE, NOT TO HURT MEDICAL AND THOSE THAT DO THEIR JOB AND TREAT PEOPLE AS HUMANS, BUT TO EXPOSE THOSE THAT TAKE BRIBES AND PAY OFFS AS THE MESH COMPANIES , , ALL COVERED UP UNTIL THEY HAD THOUSANDS OF GUINEA PIGS HELPED BY FDA, COVER UP, BRIBES AND PROPAGANDA , DISTORTED TRUTH. they should be held responsible for propaganda and lies told to american people. THIS i HAVE SEEN , WHERE INNOCENT PEOPLE , ARE SHOWN BY THOSE IN AUTHORITY AND POWER, WHAT THEY CAN AND WILL DO TO THOSE THAT TELL THE TRUTH AND TRY TO EXPOSE THEM. i know!

  11. Vicky says:

    I have AMS as well 🙁

  12. Jane Akre says:

    Outcome!

    The Magistrate Judge accepted our proposal for limited discovery of the PSG documents in those accounts relating to AMS plaintiffs in this litigation. I will post the order once it is entered by the Court.

    This means AMS does not get to go on what might be called a “fishing expedition” to look for any wrongdoing…

  13. Mark says:

    Jane: One of your readers quotes Bogart; I quote Shakespeare: “Much ado about nothing”. This reads as a diversionary tactic by a defective mesh maker, AMS. How convenient that a doctor who works as a consultant for AMS makes these allegations. If the march toward resolution of these cases can be slowed, these manufacturers can keep their money a bit longer and make these desperate women just a bit more desperate. Why? To get them to accept less than full value settlements by preying on their desperation. Further, if they can cast suspicion on the medical/surgical evaluation process, companies that finance surgeries would be less willing to do so in this genre of case. Women who desperately need surgery will not be able to get it. As a result, their health will be jeopardized and their case values will be reduced. AMS will be laughing all the way to the bank. As Mr. Christensen’s attorney suggests, these allegations should be investigated. That investigation should focus on the small amount of cases referred to MedStar by Mr. Fisher and the judge has, apparently agreed. I doubt that claims of coercion to fabricate or exaggerate will be validated. These are the games big business plays to avoid paying money for the harm they cause to innocent citizens. My fear is that the publicity will have a chilling effect on those who are willing to help these women, both on the medical side and on the financial side. And THAT would be truly unfortunate.

  14. Shirley says:

    Jane I would like one time for them doctors to feel what it feels like inside my vagina from the inside the raw feeling, pain and the stress it causes emotionally and physically. Its not and never has been about money and wow they chose patients that didn`t have the mesh put in that really is unethical practice for sure. It is funny what witnesses these product makers produce to the courts as witnesses to their claim to keep marketing a product that is killing womens right to be humane. Anyways thank you for keeping us updated on what is taking place inside of the court-room. Wonder if the jurors that are women is really buying this story from the defendants proposed witnesses???

  15. Kristine says:

    I have AMS.

  16. Wendy says:

    I have AMS

  17. Jill Singer says:

    It looks like most of the comments are really old, from 2012 -2014 . Are there any more recent comments? I a, tempted to make comments but who will it help when everything is so old.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

© 2016 - 2017 Mesh Newsdesk. All rights reserved.
This is a Sundown Legal Marketing law firm website.