Kudos to The New York Times for uncovering yet another grotesque abuse by the legal-lending industry — one that uses telemarketers to entice women into unnecessary and risky surgery.
Class-action lawsuits surrounding mesh implants are the new gold mine for the tort bar. Millions of women have gotten the implants to correct a condition called pelvic organ prolapse; some suffer side effects — and the legal sharks circle for a fat payday.
But the suits don’t bring big payouts unless the woman has had the implant removed. So lawyers encourage that surgery, though, it, too, can have side effects and honest doctors only recommend it in extreme cases.
The marketing outfits that talk women into the operations arrange the surgery, including travel, and hook them up with lawyers as well as with firms that make high-interest loans the women won’t have to repay unless their lawsuits prosper.
As the Times reports, the doctors who work in the medical mills doing the procedures can earn $14,000 a day, yet typically meet the patients only on the day of surgery. Nor are they around to help with complications (such as incontinence).
Meanwhile, the legal fees and high-interest loans can eat up most of whatever settlement the woman may win.
The Post has done its own exposés on LawCash and other legal-lending outfits that cost taxpayers millions a year by encouraging questionable lawsuits against the city by handing out quick cash advances to potential plaintiffs.
State Sen. Rob Ortt (R-Niagra Falls) and Assemblyman William Magnarelli (D-Syracuse) have a bill to license and regulate the legal-lending industry to rein in these abuses. It can’t pass fast enough.
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