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Maryland hospital settles heart stent litigation

As Maryland readers already know, medical malpractice and medical negligence is not uncommon. In fact, a brief review of the daily newspapers will reveal a number of cases involving patients filing suit against hospitals and doctors for a wide range of reasons from misdiagnosis and surgical errors to far more serious offenses such as doctors knowingly performing unnecessary procedures.

For example, it was recently reported that a settlement was reached in a medical malpractice case against a doctor for reportedly performing hundreds of unnecessary procedures on patients at St. Joseph Medical Center here in Maryland. The cardiologist was accused of performing unnecessary heart stent procedures on nearly 275 patients. While the hospital did not admit wrongdoing under the terms of the agreement, the surgeon at the center of the dispute did have his license revoked in 2011.

The decision to settle followed a previous judge's decision to declare a mistrial in the matter. According to a recent press release, the parties reportedly executed the settlement to avoid the uncertainty and costs associated with ongoing litigation. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, patients that underwent an unnecessary heart stent procedure will receive a minimum payment of at least $134,000. The judge in the matter scheduled a hearing to finalize the agreement next month.

Every time a patient goes under the knife for a procedure, they are placed at risk. From everyday, routine procedures to more complex surgery, whenever a patient undergoes surgery they are placed at risk for an infection, the introduction of a foreign object and even the possibility of death. In cases like the one above, where the doctor's actions are more than a mistake in judgment but an intentional and egregious act, patients have the right to be angry and to seek to recover every dime to which they are entitled.

Source: WBAL, "$37M settlement reached in unnecessary stents case," April 7, 2014

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