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Search warrant at birthing center shows the need for a good attorney to “audit” businesses January 1, 2009

Posted by jefhenningeresq in News.
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I’m the type of attorney that is more concerned with the safety and welfare of my client’s,  their business and reputation rather than how much money I can stuff in my pockets.  Strange, I know.  While I’m not running a charity or anything, I hate to see good people get caught up in criminal cases when the entire problem could have been easily avoided if a good attorney got in there and essentially performed an audit on the entire business.

In Miami, a search warrant was executed at the Miami Maternity Center by a team consisting of 12 FDA Special Agents, 6 Miami Dade Police Department Detectives, 2 Florida Department of Health Investigators and 2 Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Investigators.  The allegation is that they were providing women with pills containing their own placenta that some take after birth to avoid post partum depression.   This practice is not FDA approved.  Another problem is that placentas from several women were allegedly placed in the same machines which may have resulted in women getting pills contaminated with other people’s placentas.  (no OPP jokes please)

In September, a mid-wife was arrested from the same facility.  It also appears that charges against the owners/operators of the facility are also pending.  Seized from the raid were “all patient records from 2006 to the present (approximately 500 patient records), computers, frozen placentas, dehydrated placentas, dehydrator machine, grinding device, prescription pads, billing records and all potential biohazard items”.

The story is here.

I don’t know enough about the facts of this case to really figure out what the situation is here, but I see no indication that anyone was harmed.  At the most, it seems like they had sloppy business practices while they performed a service that the people wanted; but the FDA does not agree with.  This seems like it would be a good case for a lawyer to argue that this is a technical violation of civil law and not a criminal violation has no one was actually harmed.

While I know that some business owners are greedy and they don’t want to pay an attorney to let them  what they already know:  that they are violating the law.  However, you can’t say that every business that has sloppy practices is intentionally committing a crime.  The simple fact is that many people are not good business owners but by chance, they succeed.  I represent many good business owners who are great people; but sloppy practices and ignorance of the law can get them in trouble.

Getting a good attorney to go in there from the start and just tear everything apart might cost some money up front but I believe that there would be a substantial reduction in litigation in the future.  In addition, they will probably make money by running a better business.  I think the problem is that attorneys that handle this type of work only service very large corporations, and not small businesses.

I don’t even offer this type of service because my practice focuses on litigation, i.e. things are already going wrong.  While I offer my client advice on how to avoid needing my services in the future, I should probably think about what I can put together to help avoid ever needing my services.  Since I don’t handle transactional type work, such as drawing up contracts, I’ll have to work with another attorney if I ever get into this.

This article also shows the importance of calling an attorney when one of your employers are arrested for something they did at your business.  If they would have called an attorney in September when the midwife was arrested, they probably could have avoided most of this.  I know this because I have seen the difference in the results that are possible when a client calls me sooner rather than later.   Not only can they avoid legal problems, but they save a ton of money.

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Comments»

1. Concerned - January 1, 2009

Sloopy practices? Sloppy is not cleaning up correctly, throwing placentas together seems more a calculated time saver with biohazard disaster written all over it. All of which was done without being a facility licensed and regulated to manufacture phamacuticles or supplements.

whitecollarcrimenews - January 1, 2009

I’m not saying that the owners are perfect. My concern is that this matter will be a criminal case, rather than a civil issue. You also don’t know if the owners knew that this was occurring. More importantly, you don’t know that there was any actual contamination. Whether it is sloppy or a time saver, I see no criminal intent. So if big pharma cuts corners and makes a drug that millions of people take, only to find out later that it has killed people, does anyone wind up in jail? No. It is just a civil case.

I do appreciate your comment and I always welcome debate.

2. lily - January 1, 2009

There is more to this story than you know. When you have a person who is willing to take “shortcuts” to do this type of practice, you have no idea what types of short cuts they’ll take in the care that they provide for you. Try looking at all of the cases that have been settled out of courts for infant deaths and patient harm that the owner has been involved in before you comment too vociferously about defending this. Sometimes, it’s just what goes around comes around.

whitecollarcrimenews - January 2, 2009

I’m sure there is more to the story. I have no way of getting more info at this point. If I waited until I somehow got more information, I wouldn’t have much of a blog. I can only go by what the story says. I’ve had cases where you could have said “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” but there was nothing else there.

3. Deepthroat - January 7, 2009

whitecollercrimes,

I know a ton of info about this case. I have been involved since a close relative enrolled in MMC till now… years.

Shari ordered her students to do things her way, And that included not cleaning the dehydrator and stacking new placentas on top of other ones in the dehydrator.

Shari ran that place with an iron fist and dictated every procedure and held your passing and failing over you if you displeased her.

What you see with these stories is simply the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Contact me if you need more info.

4. AnneMarie - January 14, 2009

Please log on to http://www.miamibirth.info to find public records, complaints, and investigations re the birth center and Shari Daniels LM owner. The site has an open blog, information on florida law, and how to file a complaint. If you are at all interested in this place please look at this website. http://www.miamibirth.info


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