A Wisconsin medical malpractice case was settled for $2.5 million earlier this month just before it was scheduled to be tried before a jury beginning on January 6, 2015. The first $1 million of the malpractice settlement was paid by the former spine surgeon’s medical malpractice insurer, with the balance paid by the Wisconsin Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund, as required by Wisconsin’s medical malpractice laws.
The settling plaintiff was 35 years old in 2007 when the now-convicted spine surgeon performed back surgery on him that left him disabled, in more pain than before the back surgery, and dependent on an internal pain pump that provides a constant morphine drip for pain management.
The former spine surgeon was at one time Milwaukee’s busiest spine surgeon (he was performing about 600 surgeries per year, which was twice the rate of similar neurosurgeons). He pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud in November 2013 for which he spent six months in a federal prison in 2014, followed by six months of house arrest, along with paying a $60,000 fine.
The neurosurgeon was originally indicted on 14 counts of health care fraud that alleged that the neurosurgeon hired another physician to dictate reports that the other physician had conducted inner-operative nerve monitoring during surgeries that the neurosurgeon had performed between November 2010 and October 2011, for which the other physician received $150 per report. The other physician did not perform the inner-operative nerve monitoring and was not properly trained to do so. The neurosurgeon billed $265,000 for the alleged nerve monitoring for which he received $82,000 in payments from insurance companies and paid almost $15,000 of that sum to the other physician.
As of November 2013, the spine surgeon had been facing four complaints filed with the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board (Board). The Board had signed an order in November 2013 that found that the spine surgeon had engaged in practices that tend to constitute dangers to the health, welfare, and safety of his patients. The Board accepted the spine surgeon’s voluntary surrender of his medical license that was effective on December 17, 2013, but which left open the possibility that the neurosurgeon could seek his readmission to practice medicine in three years if he met specified conditions for readmission.
Despite the $2.5 million settlement paid earlier this month, the former spine surgeon, who is now out of federal prison, still faces numerous medical malpractice cases that allege his wrongdoing during his time as a practicing spine surgeon.
If you or a family member were injured (or worse) by a spine surgeon in Wisconsin or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a Wisconsin medical malpractice lawyer or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your spine surgeon negligence claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case against a spine surgeon, if appropriate.
Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find medical malpractice lawyers in Wisconsin or in your state who may assist you.
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