WA AG wins half million from Seattle stem cell clinic US Stemology

I grew up in the Seattle area so it wasn’t great to see stem cell clinics operating there recently, but better news was the WA State AG filing suit against a clinic there. The action included the clinic parent firm US Stemology along with its leader Dr. Tami Meraglia. 

The suit was filed only months ago and now there’s a big development already. Good news.

Seattle Stem Cell Center, US Stemology
Seattle Stem Cell Center now longer does stem cell procedures. It’s notable that they highlight changes in FDA enforcement procedures as the reason. I wonder what they are referring to there.

US Stemology to pay half million

WA AG Bob Ferguson gets a win in the case and there will be $500,000 to come from US Stemology.

A good chunk of that will go back to patients. So far it appears 107 past customers may be eligible to get some of their money back. These patients paid up to $10,000 for stem cell-related procedures. The press release says that Stemology doesn’t have the money to pay right now. For that reason payments will be made over time. In these kinds of cases, I wonder about the accountability of the physician involved, including financially.

From the AG:

“Attorney General’s Office shuts down US Stemology’s deceptive marketing, including claims that stem cell injections could treat COVID-19”

The clinic owned by US Stemology, Seattle Stem Cell Center, hasn’t been doing stem cell procedures for quite some time because of the AG investigation. Their website now has a pop up warning (see above).

More generally, some Seattle-area stem cell clinics have been very aggressive in marketing over the years, even quoting the FDA Commissioner.

Pattern of state AGs taking on clinics, while FDA is quiet

The Washington State AG action is part of a wider trend of state AGs taking action against stem cell clinics.

For instance see my interview with Beth Roxland on the Iowa and Nebraska cases.

In NY, the AG recently won millions against a Manhattan stem cell clinic and the doctor running it.

Meanwhile, the FDA has been conspicuously quiet on the stem cell clinic front. This lack of action comes even as it has been more than a year since their discretionary period on stem cells ended.

The FDA’s own statements raised big expectations for unprecedented actions on clinics during this time.

What’s next for US Stemology and Dr. Tami?

Without stem cells to sell, it’s not clear.

Dr. Tami offers hormone health and other approaches as well so presumably those will continue.

I hope they don’t move on to market other unproven biological therapies.

1 thought on “WA AG wins half million from Seattle stem cell clinic US Stemology”

  1. I believe that what the “FEDS” aka FDA will likely not handle – often will “self correct” (very slowly though !) via exactly these kinds of actions. The “States” and their attorney generals start to get involved as their charter is to “protect their people from harm” inside the border of any given state.

    Also, there will eventually IMO develop a “niche area of civil law” where one will see a few leading firms and trial lawyers begin to emerge and take-on civil lawsuits to often put the bad actors out of business. I believe as of right now – thee preeminent civil attorney in the U.S. for all things “stem cell clinic harm” is IMO, Mr Andrew Yaffa of FL.

    Yaffa has so far handled pretty much every high profile “blinded person case” where stem cells were injected into the victim’s eyes (5 of those cases I believe ??), and he also “settled” before trial several other cases involving U.S. Stem Cell Clinic (Kristin Comella and crew) via what is in their SEC filing disclosures – those were “confidential settlements” but one can “deduce” that one case for instance, was the woman who was reported in the news as, “landed in a coma after severe vomiting post receiving a stem cell injection at a FL clinic” etc.

    Mr Yaffa already has another case pending and “live as we speak” in FL, this time with a “clinic” called the “Mother Stem Cell Institute” or something like that – South FL is a hot bed of the “stem cell clinic bad actors”, much like it’s a well known hot bed of bad actor “cosmetic surgery” fly by night “clinics”.

    I’d hope to see several more law firms around the country (CA, AZ, TX for example) begin to take these cases – it takes a while to gain the expertise as “stem cell treatments” is an entire new area of medicine and the law firms/attorneys need a lot of time and effort to develop a understanding of the “science lingo” and build their list of “trusted expert witnesses” etc. It’s not a overnight process.

    The only problem with waiting for and/or “needing” the civil law firms and civil trial lawyers to “do what the FDA will not do” – is they need cases big enough and with enough insurance money etc to “go after” to make it worth their time and very large up-front expenses (civil cases often take 2 yrs on avg !!). Thus, they have to wait for cases where the victim (patient) unfortunately is severely harmed by said “stem cell pay to treat clinic”, as in gravely harmed (blinded, hospitalized near death, actually does die, suffers permanent damage such as needing life long care etc) – and that is like waiting for a plane crash to happen to be able to “jump in and fix what everyone knew was a defective aircraft just waiting to crash” – as often happens in real life.

    Beyond that – the entire “legal tool box” of remedies needs to be used to hit these “bad actor clinics” hard – such as the AG case cited by The Niche above and even “other” federal agencies like the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) which has taken-on a few of these clinics over the just blatant “False claims/false advertising” often done at almost “time share” like “weekend hard sell seminars” – most often targeting the severely ill and vulnerable elderly and taking them often for their life savings for what has essentially been proven to be classic “snake oil” !

    It’s going to be a series of many, many battles, almost never ending IMO – and the war will go on, likely for as long as any of us here are alive and still talking about it in a forum such as this, unfortunately.

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