When doctors perform fake or unnecessary surgeries, the toll it takes on the patients is high. However, the financial toll on the state could be high as well. A $55 million medical malpractice settlement has been approved by a judge in Indiana in a case that involved 282 former patients of a nose doctor.
The doctor pleaded guilty to health care fraud last year and he was sentenced to seven years in a federal prison. The judge in the criminal case said the physician operated his medical practice like a factory. He earned over $30 million before 2004.
It was in 2004 that the medical malpractice lawsuits started to appear. However, at that time, the doctor could not be found. He was in Greece with his family when he suddenly went missing. It would take five years for authorities to catch up with him. He was living in a tent on a mountainside in Italy.
While Kentucky has different requirements when it comes to damages in medical malpractice cases, Indiana caps the total limit at $1.25 million. The state insurance commission is responsible for paying up to $1 million after the doctor or the insurance company that carries his malpractice insurance pays the first $250,000.
The settlement means each patient will receive about $250,000. The total settlement amount will come out of the Patients Compensation Fund. That fund receives its money from fees paid by doctors in Indiana as well as other medical professionals. The doctor's insurance company will still be responsible for some of the claims, but how much is not known at this time.
This case of medical negligence was horrifying in its scope. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a doctor's negligence, contact a Kentucky medical malpractice attorney. You have rights and your attorney will see those rights are protected, as well as providing you with information about claims you may have in a civil action against the doctor and other medical personnel.