The Mess of Lawsuits
I just posted a blog for women who are dealing with fear because of upcoming surgeries. I understand how this is because I have gone through it. You can read that blog here
I did not intend to write another blog so soon but feel like every woman deserves to know what is going on and not be fooled by ANYONE who misrepresents themselves as someone who really cares about injured women, and yet is a front for lawyers or marketing firms.
Through my Facebook Mesh Angels page I have shared several adverts posted by what I call ambulance chasing lawyers. They have blocked me from making comments on it and it has happened to other women too, but I have still been able to share the adverts to warn women don’t get involved with anyone who posts these Facebook adverts because I am afraid it will blow up in the face of the women who are badly injured by mesh implants. No matter what I do I know some women won’t listen because they act like they are desperate and they are looking for an easy way to find a lawyer.
In November 2015 I posted a blog when I found out about the goings on of a Houston based law firm. I did so because I was afraid it would backfire on women and you can read that blog here
There will always be devious practices in law firms just like everything else. But it hurts the people who are already hurting because of faulty products or bad drugs, not the law firms themselves. This is why I wanted women to do their own research, talk to lawyers and not get involved with something that looked so easy and took no effort. Recently Jane Akre updated her site and she too now shows exactly who she is and what she is about. For all those who doubted me when I began saying that her ONLY purpose was to collect money from lawyers and injured women, I am sorry you felt that way, because this shows I am not crazy nor ignorant of what she has done or is doing now. To get through this whole ordeal, you cannot have the truth in one direction and ignore the truth in others. Ignorance is NOT BLISS.
As you can see above, Jane Akre has now teamed up with a company called Sundown Marketing. Marketing? Yes, now it is time to share with you why I am posting this blog.
Reuters News just posted an important article and it will show you why you should NEVER go with anyone Jane Akre OR Aaron Horton promotes because your case could be thrown out in the future. The Manufacturing companies are watching EVERYTHING going on and it is THESE people who will be the downfall of any woman injured in the future, or has just realized she has complications due to her implant. I recently wrote a blog sharing an old article about breast implants and how what happened then could reflect on the future of pelvic implants. Please educate yourself and read this blog
I did not sign up with a lawsuit because I wanted to win the lottery and neither did thousands of other women. I signed up because I was in serious trouble because of my mesh implant. I did my own search for a lawyer and whatever happens I have no one else to blame. I was not seduced by big adverts by people like Akre and when she asked me to pass women on to her to connect with the lawyers who advertised on her site, I refused. My place has never been to convince women to have surgery if she does not need it, nor to go with ANY advertised lawyers. All I wanted to do was help women who truly are injured by mesh, with information I learned because I have spoken to hundreds of women who were in the same boat as me.
I have NEVER been seduced by offers of money from others who wanted to advertise on this blog. I am TRULY injured and felt like my blog should be free of any impropriety. No matter my financial struggle I have not taken one penny from any lawyer or doctor to promote and convince other women to have any unneeded surgery or sign up with a lawsuit. I will put my hand on any bible in any court and say the same thing. I abhor the dishonesty and bad practices of people like Akre and Horton and these marketing companies. Regardless of my injuries, I do not believe in signing up with a lawsuit UNLESS you truly are injured. I do not believe in unnecessary surgeries, in fact I am horrified that any woman would be this stupid to undergo a surgery she did not need. In fact I cannot imagine the horror of doing something like this and risking serious long term damage by a doctor who was doing this for money and could cause irreparable damage to another woman.
So what does Reuter’s article say?
(Reuters) – A major defendant in the 100,000-case pelvic mesh litigation has subpoenaed the mid-sized Houston law firm AkinMears, as well as several smaller law firms and a company that sells personal-injury claims, seeking documents and testimony related to AkinMears’ acquisition last summer of the smaller firms’ mass torts practices.
The subpoenas – issued Tuesday by American Medical Systems in the consolidated federal court mesh litigation in Charleston, West Virginia – are an unusual development in the long-running case because the medical device company has already agreed to settle most of the claims against it. AMS announced in 2014 that it would pay about $1.6 billion to resolve more than 40,000 filed and unfiled claims by women who alleged its mesh implants caused bleeding, infection and other painful side effects.
Despite the settlement, the company’s defense lawyers have begun challenging some recently filed claims. They contend in court findings that plaintiffs may have undergone unnecessary surgical procedures to make them candidates for bigger settlements. The wide-ranging new subpoenas ask the Florida marketing company, AkinMears and the other law firms to produce documents that may link them to doctors, surgical centers and private investors involved in funding medical procedures for mesh plaintiffs.
What is so bad about this? It is bad because all these dishonest practices are going to help manufacturers in their future plight of making sure no woman will ever be compensated for her injuries in the future. They will use these examples and any doctor who has advertised with Akre or Horton when they lobby to change the laws of tort. Mark my words, this will come to pass. Here’s more.
AMS is also interested in the origin of thousands of claims filed after its settlement was announced. The mesh maker wants to know how a Florida-based legal marketing business called Law Firm Headquarters acquired the potential claims it referred to several one- and two-lawyer shops, which in turn transferred claims to AkinMears last summer. AMS is demanding to see Law Firm HQ databases, client leads, telephone scripts and tapes, and logs of Internet communications with potential clients. The subpoenas also seek (among many other things) documents showing the relationship between Law Firm HQ and the small law firms to which it referred cases.
Florida based legal marketing firm? Akre lives in Florida and she has been hob knobbing with lawyers most of her life. Here’s more.
AkinMears said in an email statement that it will oppose the new AMS subpoena, which it called “a transparent attempt by AMS to distract from the fact that its defective product caused devastating, life-altering injuries to our clients We pursue only meritorious cases. We never associate with doctors, surgical centers or medical finance firms. Our clients are real women who have suffered real harm.”
Yes AMS is going to use anything to get these cases kicked out but it is the fault of these people, including Akre and Horton, and NOT the fault of injured women. Those people made this all possible because of their GREED and innocent women will become the fall out victims in the cross fire. More.
Before the AMS subpoenas were issued, we had been reporting on Law Firm HQ and the small firms to which it referred cases as part of an inquiry on how law firms acquire and screen claims in mass torts litigation. In particular, we were interested in Law Firm HQ’s relationship with overseas call centers in countries such as India, Mexico and the Philippines, where labor costs are lower than in the U.S.
It is not uncommon (or improper) for legal marketing companies to use offshore call centers to screen prospective clients who make “inbound” calls in response to legal advertising, an online survey or email. Some offshore call centers, however, make unsolicited “outbound” calls to prospective clients who fit such criteria as age and gender. Lawyers are not permitted under state bar rules to solicit clients to bring lawsuits. Filing a claim on behalf of a plaintiff whose case began with an outbound call from a telemarketer could run afoul of ethics rules.
Lawyers do have rules to follow which is why people like Akre become their fronts for infractions. This is why I posted this blog when I fully understood how Akre and Horton are both connected to our lawsuits. I realized they could cause irreparable damage to our cases and I wanted women to know the absolute truth and make decisions accordingly. I know there were women who did not want to believe it and they wanted to vilify both me and my daughter who has a blog called www.stopmesh.com
Regardless, I have never wavered from speaking the truth and neither has my daughter Kim. We spoke out because the consequences of believing these people could make the difference of whether or not your case gets thrown out. Never think you are safe, because I don’t. The mesh manufacturers have people who read EVERYTHING and they will use anything untoward, to make sure you don’t get one penny for your injuries. More.
Law Firm HQ co-owner (and non-lawyer) Michael Chhabra told us in an interview in November that the company purchases client leads from offshore call centers, in addition to generating claims through sophisticated marketing tactics like Internet advertising and online surveys. Chhabra said Law Firm HQ’s screening processes are designed to filter out any cases improperly generated by other call centers.
Chhabra acknowledged, however, that some of Law Firm HQ’s former call center partners used improper tactics such as asking prospective clients to wire them money or urging potential plaintiffs to sue. Of the 75 call centers that sold client leads to Law Firm HQ, Chhabra said, Law Firm HQ eventually terminated relationships with 37.
“Sad to say, some were trying to cheat clients,” said Chhabra, who said that after Law Firm HQ received complaints from some plaintiffs, the company hired a private investigator to check out its call center partners. (AMS has subpoenaed Chhabra and his father Vincent, who founded the business in 2014 but is no longer an owner. Their representative did not comment on the subpoenas.)
Chhabra confirmed to us that his company had referred cases to Alpha Law and the other small firms that transferred their mass torts practices last summer to AkinMears. He also confirmed what we knew from business records in Washington, D.C., where three of the firms were registered: He was a founding partner at two of the small firms. Washington has an idiosyncratic bar rule that permits non-lawyers like Michael Chhabra to serve as law firm partners. Chhabra was not a partner at Alpha Law, but a non-lawyer friend of the Chhabra family was one of Alpha’s founders.
I never planned on writing about any of this and in fact my blog was to share all I learned about how to survive mesh. By writing about it I have put myself in a very awkward position, but after watching what liars and users are doing, I felt women deserved to know the truth about EVERYTHING. This is truly the dirtiest of business practice and I cannot ignore the truth. Here is more.
By the time AkinMears bought the small firms’ mesh practices, Law Firm HQ had generated leads for, by its own account, more than 20,000 potential personal injury suits in a variety of mass tort cases, including mesh, Bayer birth control pills and the blood thinner Xarelto. If that number is correct, Law Firm HQ’s lead generation productivity far outpaced that of well-established legal marketers that spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year on advertising for personal injury clients.
AkinMears allegedly paid $45 million to Alpha Law, Sigma Law, MartindaleVoight and Albert Lazo for their mass torts practices, according to a Texas state court lawsuit filed in September 2015 by a former AkinMears business development officer. AkinMears said the lawsuit, in which the executive said he was insufficiently compensated for the deal, misstated the price, which Reuters could not confirm independently. Partners from the small firms on the other side of the transaction either declined to comment on the terms of the deal, citing confidentiality agreements, or did not return calls for comment.
The former AkinMears employee’s lawsuit also asserted that the transaction was financed by Gerchen Keller, a $1.4 billion litigation fund headed by two former U.S. Supreme Court clerks and a former Goldman Sachs banker. Gerchen Keller declined to comment on the allegations in the suit, which has since settled on confidential terms.
How will this affect women’s cases?
AkinMears told Reuters that a significant percentage of former Alpha Law network clients refused to allow the Houston firm to take over their cases. Some sought new lawyers; others did not sign forms consenting to AkinMears’ representation. The rate of dropped claims “has been significantly higher than what we expected,” the AkinMears statement said.
Significantly higher? I have no idea who had their claims dropped or why because there is no way to find out. But I am sure women who read this will be wondering could any of this affect my case? I don’t know but you can bet your boots EVERY mesh manufacturer is now looking into getting as many cases thrown out as possible all because of bad lawyers and people like Akre and Horton. They are watching and we will be the losers.
Please, please do not get seduced by something that looks easy. Don’t sign up with adverts that float through Facebook. Don’t sign up with any lawyer or doctor that advertises with Jane Akre and Aaron Horton or anywhere at all. Most important of all, DON”T GIVE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION to ANY of these people or give them information about what these implants are doing to your body.
If you want to read ALL of the Reuters article, do so here
Who is Sundown Marketing? Of course I decided to check them out.
Law Firm Website Design Company
At Sundown Legal Marketing, we pride ourselves on helping you and your business, find the perfect marketing message. We want to help you discover what is the best version of you and then cast it out for the world to see. It doesn’t matter if you are an Attorney with 20 years of experience or one with 3 years of experience. You have a unique story that can set you apart from your competition.
At Sundown Legal Marketing, our team has over 20 years of experience helping professionals, mainly law firms, identify their best qualities and then displaying those qualities in cutting edge, easy to understand and well optimized websites. From large, well designed websites with loads of optimization, to small introductory websites with room to grow; we can meet all of your business needs.
– See more at: http://www.sundownmarketing.com/about-us/#sthash.lwf0DRx8.dpuf
I could not find anywhere on their site where they are based, but you can bet your boots Akre knows them well and they are probably in her corner of the earth.
DON’T TRUST ANYONE ASSOCIATED WITH A LAW MARKETING FIRM.
Read more about this marketing firm here