New York wins $5.1 million in suit against Manhattan stem cell clinic

There are so many stem cell clinics out there that it can be hard to keep track of them and the news about them, but a big court victory against a Manhattan stem cell clinic by New York State Attorney General Letitia James is notable for several reasons.

Promotional material from Park Avenue Stem Cell clinic, which lost a case filed against it by the NY AG.

Injunction on Park Avenue Stem Cell clinic and big fine

The AG office outlined the judgement against Park Avenue Stem Cell run by Dr. Joel B. Singer in a November 24, 2021 press release. The firm was also known as Image Plastic Surgery, LLC.

The court settlement is available to read as well. The key take homes here include a permanent injunction against the clinic and penalties, fees, and restitution potentially adding up to $5.1 million.

Here’s the specifics from the AG PR:

Earlier today, the court entered a previously issued order by Judge Andrew Borrok of the New York County Supreme Court, Commercial Division that permanently enjoined Park Avenue Stem Cell Clinic and Dr. Singer from engaging in fraudulent, deceptive, and illegal marketing of their stem cell treatments. In particular, the court enjoined the defendants from representing that their treatments can treat, cure, or mitigate any medical condition until competent and reliable scientific evidence to support the safety and efficacy of such treatments exists, as well as enjoined the defendants from falsely representing that their treatments have FDA approval or that their patients are participating in a study approved by the FDA. The court further enjoined them from representing or implying that they are endorsed by any medical or scientific society or organization and from using misleading patient testimonials.

Finally, the court ordered the defendants to pay $5.1 million in potential consumer restitution, penalties, and costs.

That’s a big hit to the clinic. Could it serve as a deterrent to other similar clinics?

Dr. Joel Singer Park Avenue Stem
Facebook page of Dr. Joel Singer of Park Avenue Stem Cell Therapy. Screenshot of post noting he was part of Cell Surgical Network at that time.

Advertising in Asia

It was news to me that the clinic had been advertising in multiple languages. The apparent targeting of potential Asian customers was striking as mentioned in the PR:

“In ads placed in Asian and Russian language newspapers, they represented stem cells as “magical” or “miraculous” cells that could help diabetes patients avoid amputation and even help people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis to “throw away crutches and get younger.”

I wonder how many people came from other countries to Manhattan for the stem cell injections.

The bigger picture: former Cell Surgical Network clinic

Another level to this case is that Park Avenue Stem Cell used to be a part of the stem cell clinic chain called Cell Surgical Network. You can see the listing for this clinic on the network website here on Wayback Machine. Just scroll down.

Note that the network was not a defendant in the NY State case.

Cell Surgical Network itself is awaiting a verdict any day now from a federal district court judge in a suit by the FDA seeking a permanent injunction against them. It could go either way.

It’s also notable that a new patient lawsuit was recently filed against another apparently current clinic member of Cell Surgical Network. The new suit is for alleged vision loss following injection of a fat cell mixture into a patient’s eye at the clinic. The network is not named in the new patient suit.

Still, in my opinion these other suits are not great news for the overall chain. If it wins the big California federal case though that’s going to really jumble things. Another possible complicated outcome in the California case is that the judge could issue a mixed verdict where he enjoins some activities but not others.

More broadly at the state level, several other state AGs have filed suits against stem cell clinic-related firms.

We’ll see how those cases go.

5 thoughts on “New York wins $5.1 million in suit against Manhattan stem cell clinic”

  1. “Another level to this case is that Park Avenue Stem Cell used to be a part of the stem cell clinic chain called Cell Surgical Network”.

    ” It’s also notable that a new patient lawsuit was recently filed against another apparently current clinic member of Cell Surgical Network”.

    Well…both of these instances do appear to have a “Guilt by Association” slant to them which seems to directly implicate Cell Surgical Network.

    Relatively speaking, these lawsuits & payouts represent what percentage of overall lawsuits and/or payouts against medical clinics/hospitals nationwide practicing standard of care medicine? While I’m not much of a numbers person I’m quite sure that these so called “stem cell clinics” don’t have some kind of an evil monopoly on medical mal-practice, for instance.

    1. No, not guilt by association. Just facts. NY clinic was member of CSN at one time and the other clinic with the new patient lawsuit as best as I can tell still is a member of CSN. I noted that CSN was not a defendant in these cases. No slant. Just reality.

      It seems like your other point is roughly “Lots of medical firms do stuff too so the stem cell clinics shouldn’t be held accountable”? I’d predict that the stem cell clinics have a higher % rate of lawsuits than do medical clinics more generally. It’d be interesting to see such research but many clinic lawsuits are never publicly known due to settlements, etc.

      In addition, the point of this website is to focus on stem cells and regenerative medicine.

      1. There’s a glitch in comment nesting for some comments. This comment below is from Bill Jones in response to my comment to Doug.
        Re: “Many non-stem cell clinic suits are also never publicly known due to settlements, etc.” That argument is pure speculation and doesn’t hold water – at least not with me. Let’s not forget the fact that medical errors account for about 250,000 deaths per year.

  2. I am sure that there are fraudulent companies out there but I had stem cell treatments in mexico and that was in July and it did what they told me it would do and I am at about 1/2 my insulin requirements and am planning on going back in April so not all the small companies are bad I think leave the small guys alone there was a first single person that tried stem cells for diabetes and probably didn’t work very good but look what that led to

Leave a Reply