There is a growing trend of apparently unhappy individuals suing stem cell clinics, which have faced more legal cases recently and some of these cases are proposed class motion suits that could have much broader impact.
The latest case is against San Diego-based Stemgenex, the clinic that has claimed amongst other things that it can deal with numerous diverse afflictions and that it has had a 100% client satisfaction rate.
KPBS reporter David Wagner also has more on this story. Wagner furthermore noted that Stemgenex has publicly argued for less FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION oversight of stem cells even as this case has been starting to unfold. Amongst the around 600 come cell clinics in the U. S. , many of these companies also argue for less FDA oversight.
What’ s the back story on the Stemgenex case?
Earlier this year there were some indications of attorneys being interested in a possible class action match in part against a stem cell clinic in Hillcrest, but specifics had been lacking. Now a courtroom document has provided new detailed details.
This case is Moorer sixth is v. StemGenex Medical Group. et at. The primary named plaintiff on behalf of all the potential others in the course is Selena Moorer. A second plaintiff, Stephen Ginsberg, can be mentioned later in the document as part of the “ financial mistreatment of elders” subclass.
The defendants are the following businesses and individuals: Stemgenex, Stemgenex Medical Team, Stem Cell Research Centre, Rita Alexander, Andre Lallande D. O., Scott Sessions M. D., and DOE defendants 1-100. For the first three businesses listed since defendants, I don’ t know at this time how they are usually interrelated versus different.
There are nine individual causes of action mentioned:
- “ Infractions of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq
- Violations of Cal. Coach. & Prof. Code. § 17500 et seq.
- Violations of the California Consumers Legal Remedies California. Civ. Code § 1750 et seq
- Violation of Human Experimentation Law – Cal. Wellness &; Safety Code § 24170, et seq
- Violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)
- Negligent Misrepresentation
- Unjust Enrichment
- Financial Elder Abuse”
I’ m not sure why earlier in the record it lists only 8 complaints and then later the nine complaints listed above are mentioned. There are a lot of other possibly notable things mentioned in the document as well such as that will Stemgenex charges $14, 900 per treatment. If I comprehended the document correctly, this case has now gone through being a California suit to a federal case. I’ mirielle not sure on why and what implications that might have.
Importantly, keep in mind that we do not know if some of these allegations are factual and there is no court ruling upon any of them. Stemgenex reportedly did not respond to requests from KPBS for comment. When the company comments on the case I’ ll do an article on that.
What about the come cell clinic area more broadly?
More generally, as mentioned earlier, it’ s been an energetic year for lawsuits against stem cell clinics. The community learned last week about the second of two different stem cell legal cases against Florida-based U. S. Stem Cell, Inc. In late August there were indications of a possible course action lawsuit against The Lung Institute, an additional stem cell clinic.
I’ m not really a lawyer, but I wonder if class action suits, in the event that approved, could be combined and then end up encompassing many different centers across the U. S. as defendants.
Two top stem cell researchers, Jeanne Loring and Larry Goldstein, were quoted in the KPBS content on FDA regulation of stem cell clinics:
“ Jeanne Loring, a stem cellular scientist at the Scripps Research Institute, spoke in favor of the particular proposed rules at an FDA meeting in September. Loring believes these kinds of stem cell clinics need regulation mainly because in her opinion they are “ selling something that doesn’ t work, for a very high price, and taking advantage of those who are desperate. ”
In an earlier submit I pointed out the reasons why some stem cell clinics within the bigger picture could be particularly vulnerable to lawsuits from patients such as the issue of not having FDA approval:
“ A number of facts make many of the clinics quite vulnerable: they have no FDA approval plus arguing that they do not need it will not fly in court most of the time, the stem cell community opposes them, there is no strong science or medical data backing up what they are doing, they generally make very strong marketing claims, they charge large amounts of money for something insurance won’ t cover, their particular customers who could become plaintiffs are often vulnerable sufferers with compelling personal stories, and the clinics often deal with patients with conditions outside of their physician(s)’ areas of specialized. Each of these things could be used by trial lawyers to build an instance depending on circumstances. ”
I anticipate more lawsuits against clinics in 2017. I’ deb imagine stem cell clinics generally are closely after this trend (or at least they should be) and now perhaps a few are equally or more worried about lawyers rather than the FDA banging on their door.