May 15, 2019 Recent Legal News







Peer Review and Employment


Montana v McGree

Dr. Patrick McGree had been convicted of sexually assaulting women patients in his Butte office.  He was sentenced to 20 years in prison but had 10 years suspended.  He will also have to register as a sex offender.   This was a plea agreement 

US v Carlucci

A pediatric medial assistant, Cameron Carlucci, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for child porn.  He had been previously convicted of the same crime.  The question of how he got hired by Valley Pediatrics in Warminster and why the clinic did not do a background check on Carlucci is mind boggling.  The state law requires the back ground check but does not enforce the law.  

Wisconsin v Chadderdon

Christine Chadderdon, the nurse manager of three Mayo Clinic was accused of making $71,000 of false mileage reimbursement claims.  

Pennsylvania v Smith

Ashley Smith of Dravosburg, a licensed practical nurse at a nursing home was accused of taking nude pics of the inhabitants of the home.  

Missouri v Jain

Dr. Abhishek Jain lost his medical license after he admitted to sexually abusing women in pain clinics.  He also was sentenced to 30 days in jail and agreed to voluntarily leave the Us to back to India instead of deportation.  

Maryland v Torres

Dr. Ernesto Torres of Frederick, Maryland, a pediatrician, was arrested for rape of an 18 year old.  Later two other children came forward.

California v Lovin

Dr. Jeffrey Lovin, a radiologist, was arrested for breaking a restraining order and for prowling.  He is the ex boyfriend of a female who is now going to marry someone else.  The couple put in a video security system and allegedly found Dr. Lovin peering in their windows.  Dr. Lovin has other priors and is currently working at Hemet Valley Medical Center.

California v Bernal

Oscar Bernal of Moreno Valley plead guilty of theft relating to stealing millions of dollars worth of surgical gear and reselling it.  He was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to repay $5 million.  How did the hospital lose track of the equipment??

San Francisco v Stoller

Dr. Kenneth Stoller is under investigation by the SF city attorney for his writing of possibly hundreds of exemptions for vaccinations.,  He says he basis his exemptions of two 30 minute visits and a 23and me genetic test.  He is also a vocal anti vaccer.  

US v Farinas

Dr. Marta Farinas, of Palmetto Bay, florida, was arrested after a patient died when she was prescribed 180 oxycodone.  The former physician's boyfriend also died of an overdose of fentanyl, oxy an heroin.          Top


US v Mallinckrodt

The feds have joined a suit by whistleblowers against the drug company.  The suit alleges Questcor Pharmaceuticals, which was purchased by Mallinckrodt, illegally marketed Acthar Gel.  It is used to treat infantile spasm and Questcor raised the price from $2000 per vial to $23,000.  It is also alleged that they paid physicians bribes to use their drug.  

US v Newsome

Gary Newsome, the former CEO of HMA hospital chain, has agreed to pay $3.46 million to settle allegations that he caused HMA to file false claims for hospital admissions versus outpatient status and he caused HMA to pay ED physicians for referrals for admission no matter the medical necessity.

US v Wijegoonaratna
9th Circuit

The physician was convicted of falsely certifying Medicare patients were terminally ill and qualified for hospice.  He appealed and the  9th found his conviction was legal but his sentence was not.  His case was remanded for new sentencing.  

US v Tamayo

Juliette Tamayo, the owner of Maimi's Sunshine Medical Care Group, was sentenced to 91 months in prison and ordered to repay $2.5 million in restitution.  She had earlier pleaded guilty to wire fraud and health care fraud.  She sold medically unnecessary prescriptions to home health owners who illegally billed fed med.  She also paid physicians to write the fake prescriptions.  

US v US WorldMeds

The pharmaceutical company agreed to pay $17.5 million to settle allegations that it paid kickbacks to patients and physicians to induce prescriptions of its drugs.  The company raised the price of the drugs and then helped pay the co-pays via a fake foundation.  They were also accused of overpaying two physicians for speaking to induce their use of their drugs.  The whistleblowers in this case will get over $3 million.

US v Kranz

Dr. Arthur Kranz of Hobe Sound, Florida, was sentenced to 51 months in prison for tax evasion.  He falsely made a claim for disability benefits from SSA plus his private disability insurer.  He then returned to work without telling the SSA or the disability insurer.  He was ordered to pay restitution of over $1 million.

US v Tesher

Dr. Marin Tesher of Manhattan, New York, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the death of a patient from oxy and fentanyl that he wrote prescriptions for.  

US v Kapoor

Joh Kapoor, the founder of Insys Therapeutics and four top execs were found guilty of bribery and kickbacks to physicians for prescribing fentanyl spray.  This is another case where possibly inflated speakers fees were the culprit.  

West Virginia v McKesson 

McKesson agreed to pay the state $37 million to settle allegations that it was involved with the illegal distribution of oxy and other opioids.  Here again were illegal inflated speaking fees were involved.

US v Acadia Healthcare

The company will pay $17 million to settle allegations that it comitted health care fraud when it collected blood and urine specimens at drug treatment centers and sent them to a lab in San Diego for testing. Acadia paid the lab and then billed West Virginia Medicaid.  

US v Wise Health System

The company will pay $431,182 to the feds to settle allegations that it submitted false claims to Medicare for genetic tests for surgical patients that were not medically necessary.  

US v Moss
On Trial

Dr. Douglas Moss of Vadosta, Georgia, is now on trial for health fraud.  He is accused along with his medial assistant of submitting claims for nursing home services never performed.  

US v Paulus

Dr. Richard Paulus of Ashland, Kentucky, was convicted of doing unnecessary heart procedures and sentenced to 60 months in prison.  The cardiologist billed more for certain heart procedures between 2006 to 2011 than any cardiologist in the country.  Separately, Kings Daughter Hospital where Paulis worked agreed to pay $40.9 million to settle claims they knew unnecessary procedures were being performed.

US v Putnam Center
4th Circuit

The 4th agreed that a fine of $1.2 million by CMS against the nursing home was justified.  They failed to provide the need for a full dental extraction of one of their patients and therefore placed the resident in immediate jeopardy.  

US v Bain

The CEO of Savannah, Georgia, DME companies was sentencedto more than 3 years in prison and a fine of $1.9 million.  He was convicted of overseeing a scheme to get $10 million from Medicare by billing for unnecessary braces.  

Massachusetts v BioScrip Phamacy

The pharmacy will pay the state $1 million to settle allegations that it automatically refilled prescriptions that were not explicitly requested.  

US v 10 defendants

The group were affiliated with a compounding pharmacy in Haleyville, Alabama Northside Pharmacy DBA Global Compounding Pharmacy.  This is alleged to be part of a nationwide fraud regarding compounding unnecessary creams .        Top


Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice v Oklahoma
Oklahoma Supreme Court

The state had passed a law banning the use of RU-486 for abortions.  The law banned the use of the drug after 49 days of conception versus the new recommendation of up to 90 days.  In a 7- decision the high court ruled this was not constitutional.  The law was originally held void by a county judge.

HCA Healthcare v Aetna

Aetna was originally to pay HCa $150 million for payments for out of network care.  However after an appeal they will pay only $86 million.

Hochstein v Patients

Dr. Leonard Hochstein, a Miami plastic surgeon, sued two patients for online reviews.  He claims the two women damaged his reputation with unfair commentary.          Top


US v Touchstone Medical Imaging

The feds fined the diagnostic imaging company $3 million for disclosing patient information on its server.  HHS was informed of this and notified Touchstone who did nothing for months.  They had no policies, no business associate agreements, did not assess, did not notify etc.  They got off easy.

Patients v Gulfport Anesthesia services
To Be Filed

As opposed to the case above here is a physician who had paper files locked in a camera protected storaged facility.  Someone broke into the facility and stole the paper records of 14,000 patients.  He immediately notified all and did all the right things.

Patients v Atchison Hospital

A woman sued the hospital for allegedly disclosing her private information to a person after she was raped.  After her accused rapist was given her medical information he allegedly persistently harassed her with porn.        Top


Lakeland Regional Health v Aetna

The hospital is suing Aetna for its arbitrary policy denying payments for readmissions within 30 days.  The hospital claims the readmissions denied are chronically ill with many co-morbidities.  This is in the contract that the hospital signed but does not want to abide with.  This is in the HMO contract which the hospital claims is double penalty.  Aetna filed to dismiss the suit.

Irvin v Carbondale Memorial Hospital
Ill. App. Ct.

The hospital was sued for false imprisonment after the patient went to the ED of the hospital to see her primary care physician for leg problems.  The primary care physician apparently told the ED physician that the patient recently made suicidal ideations.  After she left the hospital ED the patient was forcibly taken back into the hospital for an evaluation.  She was forced into a paper hospital gown and had to  provide blood and urine samples.  The trial court dismissed the action but the appellate court reversed and is allowing the case to go forward.        Top


Bank v Mickels
Nebraska Supreme Court

The court stated that state law does not require informed consent to be written.  The case of med mal was filed after Dr. Mickels, an ortho, was accused of failure to give informed consent for an injection and manipulation of his shoulder.  The jury voted for the defendant and the plaintiff appealed.  The law only requires that the practitioner give information that a patient would be provided by other health care practitioners engaged in a similar practice in the locality.  Consent is a process not a document sayeth the court.

Warren v Dinter
Minnesota Supreme Court

The state high court ruled that a physician patient relationship is not necessary for med mal claim if the harm was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the physician's actions.  Here Warren went to a clinic complaining of abdominal pains.  She wass seen by a NP and had a elevated WBC count.  The NP sought hospitalization for the patient at a hospital.  The call went to a random hospitalist and the hospitalist  did not see the chart the physician did not recommend hospitalization and the NP did not request it.  The patient died from sepsis and the NP and physician were sued.  The suit may go forward.

Stricklin v Penrose Hospital

Stricklin went in for a hernia surgery and fell off the OR table sustaining facial fractures.  Pay up.

Dryfhout v Ticho

The OR tech went into surgery to correct a lazy eye, her left one.  The physician not only operated on the wrong eye, according to the suit, but he botched that one.  

Pilliod v Bayer
Jury Verdict

In yet another case where a California jury erred they entered a $2 Billion verdict against the company for Roundup causing cancer.  This type of huge verdict will never seee the light of day as it will be appealed endlessly.  A settlement may be next but there still may be a mistrial.          Top

Peer Review and Employment

Female Employees v Mount Sinai Health System

Seven females are suing officials of age and sex discrimination.  They claim the dean of the medical school hired an unqualified male to over see Arnhold Institute for Global Health.  He is alleged to have driven out women in their 40s and 50s for younger males.          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.