November 1, 2015 Recent Legal News





Peer Review and Employment



In a first for the country, Dr. Lisa Tseng of LA was convicted of homicide for over prescribing medications leading to deaths.  The physician was convicted of second degree murder for writing illegal prescriptions to patients knowing they would abuse the drugs.  She apparently made a lot of money with the pill mill.  She is said to have made $5 million in one three year period.  She faces life in prison.        Top


Patients v McKay-Dee Hospital
To Be Filed

About 4800 patients were exposed to hepatitis C at the Utah hospital after a patient was found to have the same rare genotype as a nurse who was fired for stealing drugs.   They are now looking into all patients that may have come into contact with the nurse.

Patients v Butler Hospital
To Be Filed

The Pennsylvania hospital gave patients Dilaudid already partially filled with Morphine.  The hospital says that no patient was harmed in their failure to endure patient safety.  

Batty v Zimmer
Ill DC

Zimmer has won the all important first malpractice case against it for it's Flex knee device.  There are about 900 more to go.  This is terrible for the plaintiff counsel as this is the case they wanted to try first as their strongest case.  

Patients v Drug Companies

About 100 women have filed a suit against several drug companies for mixed up packaging of birth control pills.  They say the pills were placed in the wrong sequence allowing them to become pregnant.  The were seeking class action which was denied by the judge and ale seeking money for the rearing of the children.  That too should be dismissed.         Top


Reed v Brigham and Women's Hospital
Trial Ct.

The hospital was ordered by a judge to stop harassing Dr. Reed, a former anesthesiologist there and her husband Dr. Noorchashm, a cardiac surgeon.  The two have been nationally critical of the use of the morcellator that spread her leiomyosarcoma.  When they come to the hospital for her care they are humiliated and searched by the hospital under order of the hospital's virulent executive vice president Ron Walls.  This is because Noorchashm has used his first amendment rights to blast the hospital's refusal to do away with the terrible procedure.  Vindictive hospitals now in the light.

St. Peter's University Hospital v Horizon Blue Cross
New Jersey Superior Ct

The hospital sued the insurer to get into their tier one hospital group.  The judge has ruled that Horizon must turn over the information as to why it decided against the hospital to be in the preferred service.  The judge wants an expedited hearing.

Patients v Hartford Hospital
To Be Filed

The Connecticut hospital has joined the long list of hospitals that are negligent in their handling of personal medical information.  For their stupidity they will pay the state $90,000 due to having an unencrypted laptop stolen.  They deserve to pay more.

Doe v University of Cincinnati

An employee of the medical center accessed the patient information of Doe and published it on Facebook.  Doe sued the employee, hospital and her former boyfriend.  In an order the judge ordered the hospital dropped from the suit since the employee was doing this outside of her usual job duties.

Morristown v Atlantic Health

The town sued the non profit hospital for property tax.  The hospital settled the suit for $15.5 million over the next ten years.  Also the hospital agreed to be taxed on 24% of their property assessed at $40 million with an annual tax of $1.05 million from 2016 through 2025.

Schub v HCA

A shareholder class action suit was filed against HCA for their concealing poor growth prospects when they went public.  They are also accused of not disclosing that they routinely performed unnecessary cardiac procedures.  HCA has agreed to pay their shareholders $215 million.        Top


US v Katsetos

Dr. John Katsetos of Fairfield, Connecticut, was sentenced to seven years in jail for illegally prescribing oxycodone and for fraud.  He practiced in Stamford and prescribed narcotics even after being warned by pharmacists about the practice.  He also double billed and saw multiple patients at the same time.  He was also ordered to pay $497,789 in restitution and forfeit $550,000, the value of his medical practice.  He was remanded immediately after sentencing.  

US v Kleyman

Vladimir Kleyman, a pharmacist in Lakewood, New Jersey, was sentenced to 20 months in prison for paying kickbacks to physicians for referrals for compounding.  He paid another thousands to bribe physicians to refer for a compouded pain cream.  He falsely charged for these creams which were not covered by insurance.  Kleyman was also ordered to pay $1,036,658 in restitution plus $2 million in federal income tax.

Troxler v Warren Clinic
10th Circuit

A whistleblower suit was dismissed by the court.  Dr.Troxler alleged the clinic billed for physicals by physicians when they were actually done by non physicians.  The feds did not intervene and the clinic moved for dismissal which was granted due to failure to prove payment was conditioned on any contract, statute or reg. 

US v Luthra

Dr. Rita Luthra of Springfield, Massachusetts, was arrested for violating the antikickback laws and HIPAA.  She has pled not guilty and will fight the charges at least for now.  This is part of the Warner Chilcott blowback.  She is accused of accepting $750 multiple times to hear a presentation at her office by a drug rep.  She is also being accused of being paid $250 for training other physicians on a drug but never did.  The feds are trying to send a message.   

Jones-McNamara v Holzer Health System

In an insane suit that actually made it to the court of appeals, the former employee, Vice president of Corporate Compliance, sued for fraud and lost in all courts.  The hospital's sin was to give away $23 jackets along with hotdogs and hamburgers to hospital workers at health fairs.  The compliance officer thought this de minimus gifts were enough to run afoul of the kickback statute.  I can see why she lost her job.

Jajeh v John Stroger Hospital of Cook County
ND Ill

The physician sued the hospital for illegally disbursing funds but he and his wonderful attorney did it after the statute of limitations ran.  The hospital never denied they did the dastardly deed just that the statute had run.         Top

Peer Review and Employment

Reginelli v Boggs
Pa Superior Ct

The hospital won the battle but lost the war.  They appealed a ruling that the physician's employee performance file was privileged in a negligence suit.  The court ruled that the order to produce the file was appeal able but since the only ones that may conduct privileged peer review are either direct practitioners or administrators the file was not privileged.  They went on to state that even if it was privileged the hospital screwed up by disclosing the file to the physician's employer.

Hooper v Proctor Health Care
7th Circuit

In a case I can not believe was even filed nonetheless appealed, the physician had mental health problems requiring s regular visit to a psychologist to maintain his license.  After an incident he was given time off from his employment as a physician in an outpatient department.  His psychiatrist said he could return to work and the organization sent hem messages regarding the same.  He failed to respond and was terminated.  He then sued and of course lost on all matters. 

Burr v Iowa Board of Medicine
Iowa Ct. Appeal

The physician made unwanted advances to a nurse and was reported to the Board.  The Board did sanctions and the court sent them back to the board to rethink the matter.  The board did and gave the same sanctions as well as reporting him to the NPDB for conduct based on professional competence which could of affected the health of a patient.  The court again looked at the matter and told the board to not only to change their order but to answer no to the NPDB question regarding the physician's competence.          Top


Religious Groups v US
US Supreme Court

The court has granted leave to hear the cases of seven religious agencies against the administration for violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.          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.