A Maryland medical malpractice case against a former cardiologist and a local hospital in Maryland that had been filed in September 2012 was dismissed as a result of a settlement order that was entered on April 30, 2014. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. The former doctor is presently serving an eight-year federal prison sentence for health care fraud for implanting unnecessary cardiac stents in patients, causing patients to have unnecessary follow-up tests and examinations, and improperly billing patients’ health insurance companies.
According to the Maryland medical malpractice plaintiffs (i.e., the man who allegedly received unnecessary stents and his wife), the man had been implanted with five unnecessary stents during three operations that occurred between 2004 and 2006. The man’s ordeal began on July 23, 2004, when he was taken to the local hospital after suffering a heart attack. The defendant doctor implanted a stent in the man after determining that he had a 90% blockage in an artery.
Two months later, the man had chest pain and returned to the hospital, where the same doctor determined that the man had a 95% blockage in another artery and implanted three additional stents. One week later, the man had a cardiac catheterization during which he had an angioplasty, pursuant to the former doctor’s order.
In July 2006, the man was admitted into the hospital due to an abnormal cardiac scan. The former doctor determined that the man had heart disease, performed another angioplasty, and implanted another stent.
The hospital where the doctor performed the allegedly unnecessary stent procedures began investigating the doctor in early 2007. The man called a hotline set up by the hospital in March 2007, inquiring if his stent procedures were necessary. According to the man, he was advised that his stent procedures were necessary, upon which he relied at that time.
Thirteen other patients who had stents implanted in them by the same doctor at the same hospital filed a federal lawsuit against the doctor and the hospital, alleging that their stents were unnecessary. The federal lawsuit was settled in August 2011, the terms of which were confidential. That same month, the hospital reached a settlement agreement with federal prosecutors to pay $1.8 million to resolve allegations that it was aware that the doctor performed unnecessary stent procedures at the hospital from 2003 to 2006.
One month later, in September 2011, the man was advised by a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice that his stent procedures were unnecessary and that he did not require stents, which was the first time he became aware that his stent procedures were unnecessary.
The man’s federal lawsuit is captioned Peacock, et al. v. Peninsula Regional Medical Center, et al., U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in Baltimore, Case No.: 1:12-cv-02867-CCB.
If you or a loved one had an unnecessary stent procedure in Maryland or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the advice of a local Maryland medical malpractice lawyer or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your stent claim for you and represent you in a stent malpractice case, if appropriate.
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