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Stent victims reach settlement with Maryland doctor

Maryland readers may have heard about the rise in medical malpractice litigation against doctors implanting unnecessary heart stents. A stent is a piece of mesh tube used to treat arteries that are too narrow or weak to allow blood flow. A stent is placed in the artery as part of an angioplasty, which restores the flow of blood through weak or narrow arteries. While the procedure is highly beneficial to those who need it, it is also very dangerous.

In one of the more prominent medical malpractice cases involving unnecessary heart stents, a Maryland physician was accused of implanting unnecessary stents in multiple patients at St. Joseph Medical Center. A medical malpractice suit was later filed against the doctor by 21 of his former heart surgery patients. In recent news, the lawyers announced that they reached a settlement with the doctor and the former owner of the hospital.

An investigation into the doctor's alleged crimes revealed hundreds of cases between 2007 and 2009 in which unnecessary stents were placed in patient arteries that were not medical necessary. According to sources close to the plaintiffs, the plaintiffs are very happy with the settlement agreement, although the value of the settlement has not been disclosed. The 21 plaintiffs in the present litigation represent a small number of the doctor's overall victims.

People who have reason to believe that have received an unnecessary stent implant needs explore their legal and medical options. While the procedure used to place stents in a patient's artery is a common procedure, it can cause serious complications such as post-surgical bleeding, allergic reactions and infection. Patients who experience such complications may be entitled to damages for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.

Source: WBALTV, "Settlement reached in St. Joe's medical malpractice case," May 03, 2013

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