Interesting story reported by Reuters on recent arguments in the WVA pelvic mesh MDL related to Ethicon. The story reports on a call service that had sent letters out to potential mesh victims with FDA logoing and represented that that they had a claim that could settle for $25,000. It is difficult picking a place where to begin as far as the many violations of attorney ethics a communication such as this implicates. It is seemingly active solicitation of clients, misrepresenting the communication with the FDA imagery, and guaranteeing a settlement amount, all separate violations that could involve discipline with an attorney potentially losing his bar. We are only speculating but our guess is that these ads are not being run by attorneys but some third party advertiser.
Nonetheless, Defendants have attempted to take one non-attorney group’s inappropriate advertising and use it to slow the litigation and sour the the Judge against all claims. For example, the Defendants are attempting point to this call center as driving up the number of false claims. They also point to litigants filing claims against the wrong manufacturer. Luckily, we doubt that the Judge will agree with these arguments. The amount of Plaintiffs identifying the wrong device is likely an extremely small amount as most attorneys will order the product identification medical records prior to filing. Additionally, if someone has no meritorious injuries that will be exhibited and played out in litigation as well. In the long run, there is no denying that Defendants product grossly injured thousands of women across the US.
Again, we in no way condone the actions of this advertiser. However, we emphasize that an attempt to take one advertiser’s actions and use them to claim that thousands of victims claims are fraudulent is just as unethical.