Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

October 2010 Archives

Big Pharma Pays Physicians Handsomely Despite Their Questionable Credentials and Background

This week ProPublica, an investigative reporting agency serving the public interest reported on doctors who receive big payments from pharmaceutical manufacturers. The article and its findings were reported nationally on National Public Radio earlier this week and reveals that many of the doctors on Big Pharma's payroll lack credentials such as board certification or have been reprimanded or sanctioned for misconduct by their states' medical boards. The story tells the shocking tale of several doctors who received payments ranging from $85,000 to a whopping $225,000 for speeches and other activities to promote drugs and other products who were sanctioned for improper conduct. The ProPublica investigation thus far has turned up hundreds of doctors who were sanctioned by state medical boards but who the industry continues to use as "experts" in their fields.

Thinking About Short Selling Your Home or Walking Away? Think Again!

avenues in an attempt to limit the damage of a foreclosure that will be caused to their credit, their pocket books, and their lives. Even millionaires are strategically walking away from their homes When loans aren't being modified, when defaults occur after a modification, or when no one will buy your home for what it is worth, many homeowners are seeking to "short sell" their homes to avoid a foreclosure sale. There are, however, risks that need to be brought to your attention

Cardiologist Mark Midei Files Suit Against St. Joe's Medical Center

Well, our prediction over Mark Midei's response to allegations that he performed unnecessary stenting on nearly 600 patients was wrong. Instead, Dr. Midei and his attorney, Stephen Snyder, have gone on the offensive, filing a $540 million dollar lawsuit against St. Joseph's Medical Center and others, alleging they intentional destroyed Dr. Midei's career by diverting attention away from its own wrongdoing and toward Dr. Midei. The lawsuit, which is described by the Baltimore Sunas "harshly worded," contains allegations that read like a prime time drama. The lawsuit alleges fraud, defamation, invasion of privacy by false light, interference with economic relations and intentional infliction of emotional distress and seeks both compensatory and punitive damages.

Cardiologist Mark Midei, M.D. to Hold Press Conference Today at 10:30

Mark Midei, M.D., the interventional cardiologist at the center of allegations that he performed more than 500 unnecessary stenting procedures on patients while at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Towson will hold a press conference with his attorney, Stephen Snyder, at 10:30 a.m. today. This will be the first time the public will hear any comments from him or his attorneys as to the allegations against the physician.

More Evidence There is No Medical Malpractice Crisis in This Country

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendel announced on Tuesday that claims against the state's Medical Care Availability and Reduction Error Fund ("Mcare"), a physician-supported pool used to pay a portion of their malpractice insurance costs, dropped 61 percent since 2003. According to figures released by the governor's office, total Mcare payouts dropped from more than $341 million to about $178 million last year. The number of claims fell from 699 to 396. Stunningly, there are 28 more insurance companies willing to write malpractice policies this year than there were eight years ago. Those statistics speak for themselves.

Court Holds Dismissal Without Prejudice and Not Summary Judgment is Appropriate Remedy for Deficient Certificate of Qualified Expert

The Maryland Court of Special appeals on Tuesday reversed a Baltimore City trial judge's entry of summary judgment against several medical malpractice plaintiffs after determining the appropriate remedy for a defective certificate of qualified expert is dismissal and not summary judgment. In Powell v. Breslin (No. 181, Sept. Term 2009), the appellate court ruled that the intent of the legislature was to require dismissal without prejudice in such circumstances, even though the specific statutory provision setting forth the criteria for a valid expert certificate did not expressly provide the remedy of dismissal for certificate deficiencies.

Is No News Really Good News When it Comes to Medical Test Results? Not Really.

An article in today's Wall Street Journal discusses the failure of physicians to consider and communicate abnormal test results and the prevalence generally of diagnostic errors, which account for approximately 40% of all malpractice claims and cost "insurers an average of $300,000 per case to settle." The article continues by citing data from a variety of studies that primary care doctors are "overwhelmed" by test resultabnormalities that are not communicated to their patients or are otherwise discounted as within the margin of laboratory error and are not given indepedentsignificance.

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