On July 20, 2016, a former oncologist from Michigan settled 43 medical malpractice claims filed by his former patients for a total of $8 million. The settlement takes into account Michigan’s cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases, which is currently $440,000 (or nearly $800,000 for certain catastrophic injury claims), and the available medical malpractice insurance coverages. An arbitrator will decide how much each of the 43 medical malpractice victims will receive from the settlement.
The former cancer doctor, who is presently serving a 45-year prison sentence, had pleaded guilty in 2015 to federal criminal charges involving multiple counts of fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to receive and pay illegal kickbacks. The disgraced former oncologist had treated approximately 1,700 patients in seven locations in the Detroit, Michigan area and allegedly received $17 million as a result of his fraudulent billing scheme.
The patients’ medical malpractice cases included claims that the oncologist had advised them that they had cancer when they did not, and then provided them with toxic chemotherapy and other drugs. Some of the Michigan medical malpractice plaintiffs alleged that the oncologist either under-treated them for their cancers or over-treated them, with his primary goal being to maximize his billings and profits. The oncologist’s egregious mistreatment of his patients ceased only after a member of his staff became a whistleblower in 2014.
A subsequent federal investigation into the oncologist’s practices identified more than 550 patients who were mistreated by the oncologist. Many of the patients who suffered harm at the hands of the oncologist either chose not to pursue a medical malpractice claim against him or the Michigan statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims had expired by the time his wrongdoing was discovered.
The Michigan medical malpractice lawyer who represents many of the victims who recently agreed to settle their claims voraciously argues the unfairness of Michigan’s cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases that has resulted in his clients being unable to obtain fair and adequate compensation for the harms they suffered due to the oncologist’s criminal behavior, and which insulates and protects the oncologist from being held fully accountable for the injuries he inflicted on his patients.
In addition to the $8 million medical malpractice settlement announced on July 20, 2016, there is a $11.7 million federal restitution fund set up for the benefit of the oncologist’s victims.
Many cancer misdiagnosis claims allege the failure of medical providers to timely diagnosis and/or to properly treat cancer. However, other cancer misdiagnosis claims involve patients being told they have cancer when they do not have cancer, or they are misdiagnosed as to the type or severity of their cancer. No matter the type of cancer misdiagnosis involved, the victims’ physical and emotional harms typically are serious and substantial.
If you or a loved one were the victim of cancer misdiagnosis in Michigan or in another U.S. state, you should promptly contact a Michigan medical malpractice attorney or a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your possible medical malpractice claim for you and file a medical malpractice case on your behalf, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website or telephone us on our toll-free line in the United States (800-295-3959) to be connected with Michigan medical malpractice lawyers or medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may be able to assist you with your medical malpractice claim.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.