A surgeon has been arrested and charged with felony perjury in Arkansas as a result of false testimony given under oath during a medical malpractice case. The 71-year-old surgeon was originally licensed in several states, and was frequently used as an expert witness in medical malpractice cases in Arkansas and Missouri.
From 2009 to mid 2010, the surgeon’s surgical privileges were revoked or suspended by the St. Louis VA, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and St. Louis Children’s hospital. Reasons for the loss of privileges included failure to maintain liability insurance, repeated problems with pre-operative judgment, failure to request help from senior colleagues when life-threatening complications occurred, failure to properly supervise residents, concerns about post-operative complication rates, and a host of similar reasons.
Yet, in mid 2010, the surgeon served as a plaintiff’s expert witness in a botched gallbladder surgery case in Arkansas. As part of his testimony, the surgeon told the jury that he was on staff at Barnes-Jewish Hospital without restrictions despite the fact that his surgical privileges had been revoked. He also lied about how often he had been sued for medical malpractice.
Arkansas prosecutors charged him with felony perjury—a very rare event. He has since voluntarily surrendered his medical license from the state of Missouri, has turned himself in to authorities in Arkansas on the felony charge, and is currently free on $50,000 bail pending trial.