January 15, 2015 Recent Legal News


Peer Review and Employment







US v Qamar

Dr. Asad Qamar and his group, the Institute for Cardiovascular Excellence in Florida, has been sued by the feds for alleged inducement of patients to undergo unnecessary invasive cardiac testing.  The feds state they routinely waived Medicare co-pays and deductible which is illegal.  Dr. Qamar is the highest paid cardiologist in the country and as such has a large target on his back.  Dr. Qamar is a major donor to Democrats.  This is a whistle blower suit.        Top

Peer Review and Employment

Medical Staff v Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center
Minnesota Supreme Court

In a blow for medical staffs the state high court ruled that medical staff bylaws are an enforceable contract between the hospital and the physicians.  The hospital attempted to strong arm new bylaws without medical staff approval.  They would have given broad powers to the hospital and weakened the medical staff.  The lower courts ruled for the hospital stating the medical staff can not be a plaintiff.  The high court said they can be as they can be sued and can sue.  The majority opinion was written by the former Purple People Eater Alan Page.

Baptist Memorial Hospital Mississippi County v Kalyan
Arkansas Ct App

The pulmonologist was requited for full time work.  bt to be forgiven.  They agreed he would be paid a  sum unless he did not work long enough for the debt to be forgiven.  He received roughly $228,000 and left early without repaying that amount.  He was sued and the lower court awarded $46,000 to the hospital who appealed.  The appellate court said he did not present any evidence of a setoff and therefore the case need retrying.

Birnbaum v Tarzana Anesthesia Assoc.
Ca Ct App

Birnbaum had a written agreement with the group as to his employment status.  He then got cancer and needed less work.  He was eventually let go and sued.  The court ruled he was not an employee and therefore could not sue under the ADA.  He was an independent contractor as the group did not exert any control of when he performed his professional services.  He received no employment benefits from the group. 

Morman v Campbell County Memorial Hospital
D Wyo

The female Ortho was recruited by the hospital and complained that the hospital did not publicize her enough.  After she griped and signed her contract the hospital also hired three other male orthos and gave them "better deals".  She claimed gender discrimination and of course lost since the males had more to offer and therefore were not similarly situated.

Wheeless v Maria Purham Med Ctr
NC Ct App

An ortho had multiple run ins with the hospital but this case is related to an unidentified complaint about him to the Medical Board with information that was highly classified.  He sued the hospital for malpractice, unfair trade practices and other things.  He lost on all counts in trial court and on appeal he also lost.  There was no unfair practices since the complaints to the Board is part of provision of adequate medical services.  There also was no malpractice since there was no patient provider relationship.  

Prairie Rheumatology v Francis
Ill Ct App

The group sued Francis for violation of a restrictive covenant.  She was not supposed to go into practice within 14 miles and she did.  The trial court ruled that she was barred from seeing clinic patients but not the general public.  The appellate court ruled that under state law two years of continuous employment constitutes adequate consideration for the restrictive covenant.  Since she left after 18 months there was no consideration and therefore no restrictive covenant.        Top


Patients v Midwest Women's Healthcare Specialists

The Kansas City, Missouri, organization agreed to pay $400,000 to settle the claim that they dumped medical records into a dumpster.  This still needs to be approved.        Top


Patients v Sossan, Avera Sacred Heart

In a story that will become bigger patients have sued Dr. Allen Sosson of medical malpractice.  They have also sued Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, Lewis and Clark Specialty Hospital and the physicians on those hospital staffs that participated in the giving of privileges to Dr. Sossan.  Dr. Sossan, an ortho, as about 40 suits filed against him since the four years he was on the medical staff of the South Dakota hospitals.  He still has his medical license but probably not for long.

Stalling v VA

Stalling of Georgia states he has PTSD and was prescribed Trazodone for inability to sleep.  This caused an erection that lasted more than the four hours so he went to the ED at the Atlanta VA.  The physicians, according to Stallings, made a spectacle of him and he was hospitalized for 10 days and has lost the erectile function as well as he now states he has problems urinating. 

Holmes Regional Med Ctr v Dumigan
Fla App Ct

 The patient was admitted for a coronary bypass.  During the procedure he received contaminate Heparin and eventually lost a leg.  The question is whether this is medical malpractice or negligence.  The court said this was negligence since they ignored a warning from the manufacturer regarding a recall.

Patients v Deshmukh and Rahman

Drs. Yusuf Deshmukh and Rafiq Rahman allegedly paid the government $3.7 million for giving chemo to patients so they could make money.  Their patients are now suing them for malpractice for giving them chemo they did not need.        Top  


Sarun v Dignity Health
Ca Ct App

In a frontal attack against the hospital practice of charging uninsured more than insured for the same service the California Court of Appeals has let a case go forward even though the plaintiff did not first apply for assistance.  He received care at Riverside Hospital and a bill for $23,000.  He was told that included an uninsured discount and he could call a number to receive financial assistance.  He just sued and lost in the lower court but the appellate court said he received an injury when he received an invoice and was obligated either to pay the full sum or apply for assistance.  The case continues.        Top


Connecticut v Cassandra C
Connecticut Supreme Court

A 17 year old female with Hodgkin's Disease did not want chemo.  The high court said that the state does have the ability to force the treatment on her.  This is true even though in 9 months she will be 18 and can refuse therapy on her own.  She is currently receiving therapy.

Parents v New York City
2nd Circuit

The case is one of a law that requires vaccination prior to attending public schools.  The dumb parents do not what their children vaccinated.  The court is smarter than the parents and said the law is legal.  The parents hope to get the US Supreme Court to hear the case.

US Supreme Court

The Court refused to hear the challenge to the challenge to Obamacare after the two lower courts also rule against them.  Another waste of money.

Providers v Idaho
US Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case as to whether or not states have the right to set Medicaid rates paid to providers of care when the low rates were keeping patients from receiving timely needed care.  If the state wins then there will be no more law suits against the states for their artificially low rates as in California.  The California Supreme Court has ruled that the state wins.  We will see how the real Supremes rule.        Top


Abrahamson v Illinois Medical Board
7th Circuit

In what is hopefully the end of this case, the 7th Circuit said this case is just a rehash of his state court claims and needs to be dismissed.  He was refused his license after he lied on his original application and did not fulfill the requirements placed upon him by the state Board.

Picard v Amer Board of Family Medicine
ED Mich

This is Yoharian in Catch 22.  The physician, a recovering alcoholic, erroneously lost his license to practice.  After the error was discovered he got a full license back.  In the meantime the Board revoked his certification since he lost his license and would not give him back the certification until he finishes his probation.  He has lost his hospital and other privileges that require board certification.  He lost the case on a judicial splitting of hairs.        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.