Apr 16, 2018

How banks, lawyers and doctors sell bad surgeries

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."

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Coronavirus updates: New global case numbers surpass China's

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. As Denmark and Estonia reported their first cases Thursday, Scott Morrison, prime minister of Australia — which has 23 confirmed infections — told a news conference, "The risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us."

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Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know so far

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee Molson Coors on Wednesday, including the 51-year-old gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at an evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

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WHO official leads criticism of Trump's coronavirus response

President Trump with members of the new coronavirus task force, including Vice President Mike Pence at the White House on Wednesday. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, special advisor to the director general of the World Health Organization, told MSNBC Wednesday he found "most" of what President Trump said at his briefing on the novel coronavirus "incoherent."

The big picture: As the number of confirmed cases reaches 60 in the U.S., the top health professional — who was a health policy adviser in the Obama administration — is among several leading figures, in particular, Democrats, to criticize the president for his response to the outbreak.

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