January 1, 2012 Recent Legal News

Peer Review and Employment






Peer Review and Employment

Latif v U Texas SW Med Ctr.
ND Texas

Dr. Latif was a resident at the University.  He is of middle eastern origin and was offered and accepted a position post residency.  He flunked a rotation and had to repeat it.  The position was not offered after he flunked and he sued for discrimination.  He lost since he could not show that any non middle easterner was treated any differently than he was.

Awwad v Largo Med Ctr.
MD Fla

The case that continues forever.  The court allowed Dr. Awwad to file an amended complaint for damages for breach of the bylaws.  His original complaint for damages was dismissed by summary judgment.  In the amended complaint he stated the hospital lied to him regarding which version of the bylaws controlled his loss of privileges.  This allows Dr. Awwad to allege fraud and be free of the Florida peer review statutes.

Kessler v Memorial Health
Ind Ct. App 

Dr. Kessler was found to have inappropriate interpersonal conduct (disruptive physician).  He was sent for mental health evaluation and after this plus several second opinions by doctors for Dr. Kessler he signed an agreement to be a good boy or be tossed off the staff.  The problem was everybody knew about the problems and his referrals went down.  He then sued for being fraudulently induced to sign the agreement.  This, of course, would not fly as he got his own second opinions and so could not have been deceived.  

Renta v Cook County
D Ill

Dr. Renta sued Cook County Hospital and it's former Pathology Chair were sued for retaliation.  Dr. Renta filed a suit claiming racial and gender discrimination.  She proved the defendants attempted to damage her reputation after she sued.  The State's Attorney claimed that Renta missed several cancers and failed to follow established protocols and policies.  Dr. Renta had twice prevailed at a peer review hearing.  Obviously the jury did not believe the Attorney General's attorney since they awarded Dr. Renta $4 million for pain and suffering, $3.2 million in lost wages and they want the former Chair to pay $400,000.  The judge could reduce the jury verdict to $300,000 for pain and suffering and other punitive damages.  

Gonzalez v Imaging Advantage

Dr. Gonzalez was a radiologist hired by Imaging Advantage.  He did not like what he was making monetarily and also had a problem with time off for his Boards.  He also objected to working at a hospital which was not in his contract.  He was told to find another job.  He sued for multiple items and many were dismissed but not all.  His breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentation claims were allowed to go forward.  He had demonstrated a potential basis for the claims.

Hilden v Hurley Med Ctr
ED Mich

Two lab techs sued the hospital for either a dismissal or discipline due to their whistleblower action.  They had complained to the Joint Commission about the hospital allowing expired culture material to be used.  They lost since the hospital disciplined or fired them after it was found that the two were tossing out culture material after they had been warned.  They had also cancelled tests which had already been set up by other techs.   

Nurses v Univ. of Med and Dentistry of New Jersey

 After filing suit against the hospital the 12 plaintiff nurses were told they do not have to assist in abortions.  The medication also said the nurses were not to be discriminated against for their beliefs and their law suit. 

Patients v Loma Linda Hospital
To Be Filed

Loma Linda must love the publicity.  Prior it had problems with it's transplant programs and now is involved in a major HIPAA violation. An employee took home the billing records of 1300 patients against hospital policy.  The employee has been fired and those affected are getting a year of credit monitoring.         Top


Cawthorn v Mercy Hosp.
Iowa Supreme Court

Mr. Cawthorn won at trial court over $10 million for a back injury during surgery.  The hospital appealed.  During the time of appeal a law was changed in the state. In the original trial the hospital used the physician's credential file to attempt to prove there was no negligent credentialing.  The new law took out of the case the privileged credential file.  In the retrial the hospital did not use the credential file and won the negligent credentialing part of the case.  The court said it was all right to change course in defending based on new law.

Martinez v Park
Ind Ct App

Martinez sued the physician for med mal and the hospital for negligent credentialing.  He lost at summary judgment because he presented no evidence to counter the physician's expert and with no med mal there could be no negligent credentialing.

White v Lembach
Ohio Supreme Court

White sued Lembach after a successful back surgery that later failed after he fell.  He did a second surgery on her and him pain became worse.  He sued for lack of informed consent in not telling her the second surgery was more prone to failure than the first.  He did not produce an expert and the trial court ruled that he lost on those grounds.  The Court of Appeal reversed and the Supreme Court ruled that he needed an expert to state what the standard is regarding what a surgeon should tell the patient in this regard.  He did not need an expert to say what he would have done after receiving the information.

Patients v Wang

Dr. Chug-Lee Wang of Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore has been sued by three patients for wrongfully implanting cardiac stents.  This is interesting since Dr. Wang is a former colleague of Dr. Mark Midei and is part of an advisory committee to prevent unnecessary cardiac stenting.  It is interesting that the same attorney who filed hundreds of cases against Dr. Midei has filed two of the three cases against Dr. Wang.  Blood is in the water and the sharks are congregating.  All the accused cardiologists have defended their actions that the blockages seen on x-ray are not sufficient to be stented by stating that more goes into the decision than just the x-ray picture.  It is also the subjective signs and the subjective interpretation of the x-ray, not just the exact measurements. 

Dr. Mark Midei had a huge article recently in the Baltimore Sun proclaiming his innocence.  He is fighting to keep his medical license in Maryland after being investigated by the US Senate who know nothing about medicine.  Dr. Midei, as almost every cardiologist in the country, eyeballed the fluoroscopic images to see if a stent was needed.  Nobody actually measure to see if the artery was according to guidelines, 70% blocked.  There was also the possible retaliation when Dr. Midei left one hospital for another and causing the first hospital's merger to go south.  Dr. Midei's second hospital was under federal investigation and let Dr. Midei take the fall to get a lesser fine from the feds.  It didn't work and the hospital was fined $22 million.  They also, after agreeing to let Dr. Midei resign with a letter of recommendation, sent letters to 584 of his patients stating that their stents may have not been needed.  That's when the shark smelled blood and the law suits started.  He has a current law suit against the hospital that deserted him. 

Sanner v VA Hospital

The VA has agreed to pay Mr. Sanner $275,000 after two towels were left in him following kidney surgery.  This occurred at the Louis Stokes Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The patient after the second surgery developed a hernia that the VA fought not to pay for the repair. 

Patients v Hospital
To Be Filed

The CDC has reported on a Kentucky man who perished in an accident and whose organs were transplanted into several people.  They came down with Hepatitis C and it was found that the initial studies done on the dead patient were erroneously read as negative for Hepatitis C when if fact it was positive.  

Artelgo v Utah Valley Reg Med Ctr
To Be Filed

Mrs. Artelgo was admitted to the hospital for nausea and medication problems.  She was shaking and moaning so two nurses taped her mouth closed.  They had apparently done this to other patients as well.  The two nurses were fired.  

Patients v France

France has agreed to pay for all breast implants from the approved company to be removed.  The reason is the now defunct company used industrial silicone and not medical grade product.  About 1000 of the 30,000 French implants have burst and nine cases of cancer has been reported.  These implants are also world wide but France isn't paying for those.  This implant was never sold in the United States.        Top


Stiger v Flippin
Ca Ct App

A medical group (Permanente) did it's civic duty under the law and filed a report to the Medical Board stating that one of it's members resigned for quality concerns.  The Board had concerns about the timeliness of the report and subpoenaed two members of the Group to testify.  They wanted the subpoenas quashed and filed suit.  The court ruled that the Board has the power to issue investigative subpoenas. 

Bruner v Ohio Dental Board
SD Ohio

The Dentist attempted to try in Federal Court multiple state claims against the Board and its members for his disciplinary action.  He tried to do this pro per. The Court dismissed his claims as they had virtually no federal basis and allowed him to refile in state court.        Top


US v 14 Physicians

The feds have indicted 14 physicians in New Jersey for a cash for test referral scheme.  The kickbacks were for referrals to Orange Community MRI.  The medical people would get monthly payments for the referrals.  The MRI executive director, Chiag Patel, was arrested and released on $750,000 bail.

US v Chirban

A fed grand jury returned a 130 count charge against Dr. Angelo Chirban and Marilyn Chirban of Queens Cross, Arizona, for illegally distributing controlled substances.  Dr. Chiban would leave his prescription pads open and his now ex-wife would make out phony prescriptions for oxycontin and other controlled substances.  She would then with her husband's permission sign them and sell them to people.

US v Gosnell

A grand jury indicted Dr. Kermit Gosnell of Philadelphia plus seven others for selling controlled substances illegally.         Top


States v US
US Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for an unprecedented three day time period.  The first day in the March calendar will decide whether the case can be heard by the court or not.  Assuming it is ripe then the next two days will focus on the individual mandate and Medicaid.   

Colorado Christian University v US

The University filed suit against the government because of the Obamacare mandate to cover birth control and sterilization.  This was seconded by Catholic Priests.  The University does not believe in the procedures for religious grounds.  If they do not do them they will be punished by losing money via fines and penalties.  Actually the law carved out religious groups from the law itself.  

CHA v Douglas

The California Hospital Assn. has successfully sued the state to prevent a 20% decrease in Medicaid pay to the hospitals and long term nursing facilities.  The judge stated this would be against the federal Medicare Act.  The State will appeal the ruling.  

Los Angeles v Blue Shield 

Remember several years ago when Blue Shield was big into rescission of medical policies if they found the insured had forgot something on their original application many years prior.  Los Angeles sued the insurer for a lot of money and just settled for $2 million, a win for Blue Shield. Earlier Blue Shield had paid $3 million to the state for their illegal practices and stated they would reinstate those they dropped.        Top


Maryland v Physicians

It is criminal that Maryland has indicted two out of state physicians for murder that have performed late term abortions in the state.  It is criminal that Maryland has this law to prevent late term abortions. The two physicians were arrested in other states and are being held for extradition.  Maryland has a law that allows murder if a viable fetus is killed.  This is usually thought of only when a pregnant woman is assaulted or killed.  I will say the two physicians were not truthful in what they did.

Michigan v Smith

David Smith has been on a mission to infect as many people of both sex as possible with HIV.  He states he has had unprotected sex with thousands of people of both sexes in the last few years since he found out he was HIV positive.  His attorney may use insanity as a plea.

Sandhukha v SSKM Hospital (India)
To Be Filed?

The patient was admitted to the public hospital for pneumonia but he died after his penis was eaten off by rats while a patient in the hospital.  This is the same hospital that 89 people died in a fire which the hospital personnel ran and did not attempt to save the patients.          Top


DISCLAIMER: Although this article is updated periodically, it reflects the author's point of view at the time of publication. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the information presented.