Monday, 27 May, 2024
HomeMedico-LegalDoctor cashed in on mesh settlement funds with unnecessary surgeries

Doctor cashed in on mesh settlement funds with unnecessary surgeries

A US doctor has admitted to talking women into unnecessary surgeries to remove their transvaginal mesh implants in an effort to get a cut of settlement funds paid by the mesh manufacturers.

Reuters reports that Dr Christopher Walker, a urogynaecologist, pleaded guilty last Friday to two charges at a hearing before US District Judge Raymond Dearie in Brooklyn.

Walker, who was charged with Detroit-based surgical funding consultant Wesley Barber in 2019, admitted to paying Barber bribes to be referred women with transvaginal mesh implants so he could operate on them.

Barber pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud at a separate hearing three days earlier.

Prosecutors said the scheme followed the proliferation of litigation over the mesh implants, which were used to repair tissue or provide support for women with pelvic organ prolapse until the US Food and Drug Administration stopped their sale in 2019. Lawsuits over the products claimed they caused pain, bleeding and other injuries. A multidistrict litigation was created in 2012. Manufacturers such as Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson reached agreements to settle some of the litigation.

Barber is scheduled for sentencing on 2 December while Walker’s sentencing is on 20 January. Walker faces up to 10 years in prison, while Barber could receive up to five. Walker will forfeit around $800,000, and Barber about $1.1 million, according to prosecutors.


Reuters article – Doctor, surgical funder admit to roles in transvaginal mesh fraud (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Boston Scientific settles claims over deceptive surgical mesh marketing


FDA halts sale of all surgical mesh products in the US


Aussie women in landmark class action victory



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