Monthly Archives: September 2012

Transvaginal Mesh Marketed as a Safe, Effective Product

It is indeed a myth but perhaps more importantly it’s a tragedy. The transvaginal mesh products that have seriously impacted the lives of thousands of women were marketed as safe and effective solutions to pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. Vaginal mesh lawsuits and the lived experience of thousands of women show this to be a lie.
The manufacturers of these failed vaginal meshes, including Ethicon, Gynecare, Johnson & Johnson, American Medical Systems Inc., C.R. Bard Inc., Boston Scientific Corporation, Covidien, Inc., aggressively marketed their medical devices as solutions to medical issues when in fact, they didn’t have the scientific and medical research to support such claims. The women who’ve had these vaginal meshes inserted have had to endure the agony of numerous corrective surgeries, IV therapy, blood transfusions and drainage of hematomas or abscesses.
The lives of ordinary women are being permanently altered because of an overly aggressive marketing campaign designed to boost profits rather than safety. That’s the real tragedy here.

Link Between Metal-on-Metal Hips and Cancer

An initial study performed by the United Kingdom National Joint Registry has determined no initial link between metal-on-metal hip failures and cancer. The studies were performed after some health experts expressed concern that the shedding of metal particles such as cobalt and chromium from the all metal hip replacement devices might lead to higher incidences of cancer. Thus far, the study shows no such occurrence. Of course, the study is limited to the United Kingdom that has a national database tracking mechanism in place that allows health officials to monitor and track such implanted medical devices. The United States is one of the few developed countries in the world that has no such registry. Obviously, this places safety officials and hip replacement patients at a decided disadvantage.
Last year, the US FDA ordered all manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip implants to conduct follow-up studies on implant recipients and report their findings to the FDA. The companies include Stryker, Johnson & Johnson, Biomet, Zimmer, Smith & Nephew, and Wright Medical. Some of these companies have already faced civil hip lawsuits for their faulty hip devices such as the J&J ASR hip and the Pinnacle hip models.

Pressure Mounts for Kansas City Catholic Bishop to Resign

Already criminally convicted of failing to report suspect child abuse, Bishop Robert Finn is facing mounting pressure from advocacy groups, Catholics, and perhaps a few of his fellow bishops, to step down from his post as leader of Catholics in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
Last week, we filed a civil lawsuit against Bishop Finn concerning one of his now-deceased priests Fr. Jerry Wegenek. Wegenek abused our client in the 1960’s and has had other allegations of sexual abuse lodged against him. While the Diocese responded to our sexual abuse lawsuit by stating that Wegenek had been removed from active ministry in 1994 after another allegation of sexual abuse was made against him. However, the Diocese did not make Wegenek’s name public or inform local parishioners that Wegenek had been accused of the sexual abuse of a minor.

Man Arrested for Masturbating on a Plane-He’s a Priest

Daniel Drinan, a 63-year-old Southwest Airlines passenger on a flight from Washington to Denver has been arrested and charged with obscene and indecent exposure committed on an airplane. The arrest occurred on September 8, 2012 and media that reported the incident didn’t mention that Drinan is a Catholic priest in the Diocese of Austin. Although he doesn’t currently have a parish assignment, he is on the diocesan payroll. Given the outrageous nature of his pubic acts, it would come as no surprise if Drinan has done similar things in the past.
If Drinan doesn’t have an assignment as a priest because of past issues, the public has a right to know. Drinan is currently residing in Reno Nevada even though he is a priest of the Diocese of Austin. Living so far from his home diocese, Drinan would be under very little if any supervision. If he has a history of such behavior, people have been hurt and Drinan may indeed be a menace to society. It’s time the Bishop of Austin set the record straight.

Polk County Teacher Arrested for “Inappropriate Relationship” with Student

Dale Pennington, 36 a Polk County teacher has been arrested for allegedly sending sexually explicit emails and text messages to a 16-year-old former student. Pennington, a Ridge Community High School teacher, has been arrested and charged with 15 counts of use of a computer to seduce a child, 16 counts of transmission of material harmful to minors by electronic device, computer pornography – traveling to meet a minor, and 15 counts of unlawful use of a two-way communication device. A judge set his bond at $5,000.
According to law enforcement officials, Pennington admitted to the behavior with the student and deputies are concerned that there may be other Pennington sexual abuse victims. Anyone with knowledge about this case or other children who may have been harmed by this teacher should contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-226-0344.
The initial police investigation has determined that Pennington had been sending texts and emails to the young girl since May 2012.

Catholic Bishop’s Criminal Case Will Be A Bench Trial

In a surprising twist, the criminal case against Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph will be a bench trial tomorrow. It is expected a verdict will be returned that same day with Judge John Torrence presiding. Bishop Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph are charged with one misdemeanor count of failure to report suspected child abuse to the state.
Bishop Finn, through his legal counsel, has argued that he is not a mandated reporter under state law. The charges stem from the criminal case involving diocesan priest Fr. Shawn Ratigan who had images of child pornography on his computer. Church officials knew about the images but didn’t report them to law enforcement for six months.

Former St. Pete Catholic High School Priest Indicted for Sex Abuse in Massachusetts

The Reverend Richard McCormick, a member of the Catholic religious order the Salesians of Don Bosco and a former teacher at St. Petersburg Catholic High School, has plead not guilty to five counts of raping a child in the 1980’s at the Salesians’ Sacred Heart Retreat House, a summer camp in Massachusetts. McCormick, now 71, taught English and theology at St. Petersburg Catholic high school before being removed from that post in 2002. His removal stemmed from a complaint from a student who told school officials that the priest had kissed her.
McCormick was arrested Thursday afternoon by New Ipswich police and charged with five counts of child rape that occurred in the early 1980’s. McCormick was arrested at the Salesian residence for priests in New Rochelle, New York.
Fr. McCormick is no stranger to sexual abuse allegations and sexual abuse lawsuits. At least nine other people have sued him and the Salesian Order to which he belongs for sexual abuse. Abuse allegations go as far back as 1963 until 1982 (not counting the one made in St. Petersburg in 2002). Three sexual abuse lawsuits were filed on behalf of young men who alleged McCormick abused them while he was the rector of the Salesian minor seminary in Goshen New York in the late 1970’s.