A large medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor and Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) owner of St. Joseph Medical Center in Maryland has settled after six weeks of trial, but prior to the defense putting on its side of the case.
The doctor, an interventional cardiologist, was accused of putting hundreds of unnecessary stents in patients while working at St. Joseph between 2007 and 2009. In 2010, the medical center notified over 500 former patients that they may have been given unnecessary stents.
The accused’s medical license was revoked in 2011 based on “repeated and serious” violations of the Medical Practice Act based on the insertion of the stents. The accusations also led to a federal investigation, and caused a loss of staff and revenue at the hospital, which was eventually sold to the University of Maryland Medical System.
Lawsuits were filed by hundreds of patients who claimed that the unnecessary stents left them with lasting medical complications. A trial brought by 21 of the plaintiffs began in Baltimore County Circuit Court, but ended prior to the defendant physician’s testimony when a settlement was reached. While the details of the settlement have not been revealed, it will resolve close to 250 of the cases against the doctor and CHI.
The doctor has consistently denied any wrongdoing, and continues to maintain that patients were treated appropriately. Forty-five cases are still pending against this physician and CHI. Settlement of the previous cases cannot be used as evidence in future litigation, so the settlement will likely play little role in what happens with the remaining 45 cases.