April 15, 2022  Recent Legal News





Peer Review and Employment


California v Harris

Gregory Harris, RN., was convicted by a jury of rape.  He was working at a Carmichael surgical center where he assaulted a woman after she was incapacitated from her surgery.  He had assaulted another woman several years later who was also incapacitated due to a medical condition.  

Doe v Signature Healthcare
CA Ct App

An employee of Aurora Vista Del Mar in Ventura sexually assaulted two patients at the psychiatric hospital.  A suit was filed against the person and the facility.  the jury awarded $.75 million.  The appeals court upheld the verdict and said that pain and suffering by victims 65 and older were not limited to the malpractice cap.  The offender had a history of sexual misconduct when hired.  In the past the facility has not been responsible since it is an individual tort and not via the employment.

US v Mazi

Dr. Julie Mazi, a naturopath in Napa, California, was convicted of selling fake Covid vax cards and immunization pellets to patients.          Top


US v Kurichh

Dr. Anuja Kurichh, an internist in College Park, Maryland, agreed to pay $555,000 to settle allegations that she billed for services not performed by her.  She billed for ultrasounds when she was out of the country and for the interpretations of ultrasounds by another physician who really did not perform them.

US v BayCare Health System Inc

The Florida system agreed to pay $20 million to settle allegations that they violated the FCA by funding a charity to improperly fund money via Medicaid back to the hospital.  The original suer via a qui tam will receive $5 million.

California v J&J
Ca Ct App

The appellate court upheld the $302 million penalties to the state for deceptively marketing pelvic mesh implants.  This is down from the $344 originally assessed.  This will be appealed to the state high court.

US v Providence Health & Services

The Washington based system agreed to pay $22.7 million to settle allegations that they billed fed med for unnecessary neurosurgery procedures.  The two surgeons were paid on incentives so they would get paid more if they did more.  The medical staff tattled on them and they were allowed to resign while on administrative leave and were not reported to the NPDB.  Then a former neurosurgical director filed a False Claim complaint against the system and the feds intervened.  

US v Physician Partners of America

The Tampa, Florida, organization will pay $24.5 million to settle allegations that they made false statements to obtain a loan via the SBA.  There were four whistleblower suits filed against the pain clinics.  The first one alleged that they paid extra if the staff ordered not only the most expensive urine drug tests but also more tests.  the organization also required patients to submit to expensive and unnecessary genetic and psychological testing.  

US v Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare

The feds intervened in a whistleblower case against the Memphis, Tennessee, system where it is alleged that they paid physicians for referrals.          Top


Germany v Doe

A 60 year old German male was vaccinated against Covid approximately 90 times in order to get vaccination cards to sell on the black market.  

Physicians v Alabama

A group of physicians filed suit against an Alabama law that criminalized gender affirming healthcare for children.  The law makes it a felony for clinicians to provide gender affirming therapy to transgender kids.  

Eskew v Sierra Health
Jury Verdict

William Eskew had lung cancer and was insured by Sierra Health, a UnitedHealthcare company.  After being diagnosed he was recommended to have proton beam therapy but the therapy coverage was denied.  He died and the family sued.  They won $40 million in damages and an additional $160 million in punis.  He had received conventional radiation which damaged his esophagus.        Top


Rodgers v Orphanos

Michael Rogers was injured in a motorcycle accident.  He was admitted to Charleston Area Medical Center trauma unit and no neurological impairment was found.  He later had an CT which showed a T5 fracture.  The following day Dr. Ophanos told him to wear a back brace but then later the same day recommended surgery to fuse the spine.  Post-op he was paralyzed with loss of lower extremities , bowel and bladder function.  He then had a second surgery and a T5 laminectomy was done but to no avail on the symptoms.  A suit was filed and showed that no pre-op MRI was ordered which would have changed the original surgery.  The patient won $17 million.        Top

Peer Review and Employment

Scheer v Regents of the University of California
Ca Ct App

Dr. Arnold Scheer was terminated from the University and filed suit under the Whistleblower statute.  The trial court used an analysis based on McDonnell Douglas v Green and shifted the burden to the plaintiff.  The Court of Appeal used a standard of Lawson v PGG Architectural Finishes and reversed and remanded.  Here the plaintiff only needs to establish by a preponderance of evidence that retaliation was a contributing factor in the termination.  The burden then shifts to the employer to prove by clear and convincing evidence that it would have taken the same action for legitimate reasons.        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.