May 15, 2014 Recent Legal News



Peer Review and Employment




John Doe v Lahey Clinic

The patient filed suit against the clinic and Drs. Kreib and Southard for not testing for HIV.  He states the hospital knew that he was a gay paramedic and worked with HIV positive patients but did not test for the disease until it had already attacked his neurological system.  The hospital wanted a medical tribunal to hear the case.  They did and the plaintiff won.

Patients v Exeter Hospital

To date 23 of 33 malpractice claims against the hospital for either hepatitis or HIV infections caused by a medical technician have been settled.  Any that do not get settled will go to trial next year.

Doe v Royal Liverpool Hospital

In Jolly Olde England, a patient came to the hospital for a "minor procedure" and ended up with a vasectomy he did not want.  He has since had a vasovasotomy but does not know if it worked.  The physician is on leave and the hospital is on the hook for six figures.

Patients v New England Compounding Center

Bankruptcy lawyers reached accord with the owners of the pharmacy, the insurers and the landlord for a pot of $100 million to compensate the patients who got a fungal meningitis from the manufacture of a drug.  The owners will contribute about $50 million.  The insurers and the landlord will pony up $30 million.  The additional $20 million will be from tax refunds.  Lawyers are hoping for more money from the clinics who gave the injection, those that designed the clean room and even the company that cleaned the clean room.         Top


US v Drobot

Michael Drobot of College Medical Center (formerly called Pacific Hospital) has pled guilty of paying physicians for referring patients to the hospital where he was the owner.  These payments may have led to $500 million in fraudulent billings. 

Osheroff v Tenet Healthcare

 In yet another payment to physicians that I did not participate in Tenet agreed to pay $5 million to settle allegations they allowed physicians to lease offices at below market rate in return for referrals.  They admitted no wrongdoing.  The landlord of the buildings in the Miami area got $1 million for turning Tenet. Tenet also paid $1 million in legal fees and costs.  The landlord will soon have empty buildings because as soon as the case was settled Tenet purchased a building for $48 million for office space.  Guess who the seller owner and the winner of $11 million in profit on the sale is?  The same person who turned Tenet in.  The feds did not participate in this case.

US v Robinson-White

Dr. Yashica Robinson-White of Alabama was indicted for using off market IUDs in her Medicaid practice and not telling Medicaid she was using the lower price product.  Interestingly, this case started with a FDA raid on the supplier of the IUDs and the getting the names of over 1000 physicians in the country who were getting these lower price Canadian products.  The company is Pharmological, Inc. dba Medical Device King and is located in Great Neck, New York.

US v Baptist Health System

Two neurologists misdiagnosed patients with neurological disorders causing the hospital to submit false claims to federal programs.  The system has agreed to pay $2.5 million for employing the physicians.

US v Pon
Indicted and Jailed

Dr. David Ming Pon of Orlando, Florida, has been indicted and jailed for false claims to Medicare.  The Ophthalmologist diagnosed patients with macular degeneration when they had none and then performed laser surgery with an underpowered laser that had no effect.  He billed Medicare for these phony procedures.  He was held without bail since he has millions of dollars in China and is considered a flight risk.

US v Megwa

Dr. Joseph Megwa and Ebolose Eghobor, RN, were convicted of healthcare fraud for their part in a scheme by Dallas, Texas, PTM Healthcare Services to recruit patients for unnecessary home health visits.  The owner of PTM, Ferguson Ikhile, RN was convicted last year.        Top

Peer Review and Employment

Eriksson v Deer River Healthcare
D Minn

A dumb doc.  Eriksson doesn't do his charting and causes the hospital to lose money.  He goes on FMLA and then gets fired.  He sues since the firing is 50 days after his FMLA but of course loses since the hospital has another bona fide reason for canning him.

Isaacs v Dartmouth-Hitchcock

In this case the physician was fired from a residency program after he had been fired from a medical school and did not put that on his residency application.  He had problems while in the residency and then sued for among other things disability discrimination.  He was his own attorney and never got past the easily decided summary judgment motion.

Kapoor v Brown
Minn Ct App

Here the plaintiff is a radiologist who was upset at a OBG.  The OBG thought that the radiologists animus would cause him to be unprofessional in his interpretations so she asked that he not read her patient's films.  A second physician, FP who was supposed to deliver the radiologist's wife but was off call, reported the radiologist to the administration for apparently reporting her to the state medical board.  The radiologist sued for defamation and the court said no since there was no statements of fact only opinion.

Shaham v Tenet Health 
Cal Ct App

In yet another physician who could not leave well enough alone.  The plaintiff was put on a focused peer review and exonerated.  he then sued for defamation in an area that believes in the Anti-SLAPP concept unique to California.  He lost for several reasons.  The main one is that the peer review process is protected speech and the second was he had no facts.  He also acted as his own attorney.

Roberts v Legacy Meridian Park Hosp
D Ore

Dr. Roberts, a neurosurgeon, had his privileges restricted. He sued for racial discrimination and as part of the suit wanted his and other peer review records.  As there is no federal peer review privilege in the 9th Circuit  and he sued in federal court for a federal reason the court allowed his motion for both his and his fellow neurosurgeon's peer review records.

Riley v St. Mary Med Ctr

A 62 year old nurse complained that she was being harassed by another nurse.  In response the hospital gave her less shifts as a Charge Nurse and gave the other shifts to a younger nurse.  After hiring another younger nurse the plaintiff was fired.  She sued for age discrimination.  The court said the claim for termination could go forward but no claim for disability since she did not provide adequate factual basis for the claim.

Aawad v Lago Med Ctr
11th Circuit

In hopefully the end to this case, Dr. Aawad has been denied the ability to go forward with this case.  He is attempting to prove his dismissal from the hospital was discrimination when the hospital showed a non-discriminatory reason fro letting him go.  He could not rebut the hospital reason adequately.

Dudark v Southwestern Med Ctr.
WD Oklahoma

The therapist complained to her supervisor that she was being paid the same as two less experienced black therapists and for that she she received a warning from the supervisor's supervisor (Doyle).  A year later she reported Doyle for a HIPAA violation as well as the pay issue and for that she was terminated.  She sued.  She won at summary judgment and the case will either go to trial or be settled.        Top


In the continuing fiasco called EHR, people are still being injured and their data compromised.  Remember EHR is for collection of data not patient care and all this is unnecessary.

Patients v Molina Healthcare
To Be Filed

A contractor for Molina Health sent out postcards with patient's SSN.  Idiocy never rests.  This was over 5000 people.

Patients v UMass Memorial Med Ctr.
To Be Filed

The healthcare entity notified 2400 people that an employee hacked their information and may have used it to open phony credit cards.

HHS (OCR) v New York Presbyterian

HHS (OCR)  has fined New York Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University $4.8 million for not having security precautions on their ePHI and allowing about 6000 records to be posted on the open internet.  The fine is $3.3 million for New York Pres and $1.5 million for Columbia.  They also have to put in appropriate security.        Top


Sissel v HHS
DC Ct App

The suit is again to toss Obamacare as unconstitutional.  The basis this time is the Senate initiated the law when it was a tax (according to Roberts) and this is against the Constitution Origination Clause.  However the Senate only amended a bill that originated in the House.  The original bill was three pages long and the Obamacare was thousands.  The original bill had to do with housing tax credits for veterans not healthcare.  However it was a tax bill.        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.