Surgeons gathered around an operating table. Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images

A powerful combination of lawyers, banks and hedge funds have lined up to talk hundreds of women into unnecessary and sometimes dangerous surgery, to help build better lawsuits against medical device companies, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: This all involves lawsuits over mesh implants. More than 100,000 women have sued over the implants, saying they cause pain and bleeding.

  • According to the article, some law firms believe women get higher awards when they've had the implants removed, compared to plaintiffs who still have the meshes implanted. So they've begun paying women to have the surgery.
  • But sometimes those surgeries are unnecessary and leave the patients with severe side effects that can never be reversed.

The details, per NYT: "Lawyers building such cases sometimes turn to marketing firms to drum up clients. The marketers turn to finance companies to provide high-interest loans to the clients that have to be repaid only if the clients receive money from the case. ... It is fueled by banks, private equity firms and hedge funds, which provide financial backing."

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
45 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Tallying Trump's climate changes

Reproduced from Rhodium Climate Service; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Trump administration's scuttling or weakening of key Obama-era climate policies could together add 1.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent to the atmosphere by 2035, a Rhodium Group analysis concludes.

Why it matters: The 1.8 gigatons is "more than the combined energy emissions of Germany, Britain and Canada in one year," per the New York Times, which first reported on the study.

Boeing's one-two punch

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX was the worst crisis in the plane-maker’s century-long history. At least until the global pandemic hit.

Why it matters: Wall Street expects it will be cleared to fly again before year-end. Orders for what was once the company’s biggest moneymaker were expected to rebound after the ungrounding, but now the unprecedented slump in travel will dash airlines’ appetite for the MAX and any other new planes, analysts say — putting more pressure on the hard-hit company.

New downloads of TikTok, WeChat to be blocked in U.S. on Sunday

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Commerce Department issued Friday an order blocking new downloads of WeChat and TikTok in the U.S. as of Sept. 20.

The state of play: President Trump has been in a standoff with TikTok, threatening to ban the app if its Chinese owner, ByteDance, does not relinquish control to a U.S. company. A deal is in the works with the American tech company Oracle, but would need to go through before Sunday to prevent TikTok from being ousted from app stores.