Failure to Communicate Is Costly and Dangerous; More

Wayne J. Guglielmo, MA

Disclosures

February 16, 2016

In This Article

Allegedly Dangerous Surgeon Flees the Country

Attorneys for an Ohio spinal surgeon being sued by hundreds of his former patients have asked to have the cases against him and the several hospitals where he practiced moved from county to federal court, as a story posted on the website of WCPO, a TV station located in Cincinnati, reports.[4]

Between 2007 and 2013, the surgeon, Abubakar Atiq Durrani, a native of Pakistan, performed surgeries at several Hamilton County, Ohio, hospitals: West Chester Hospital, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Good Samaritan, Christ, and Deaconess. In late 2013, federal prosecutors charged Durrani with performing unnecessary surgeries that resulted in serious bodily injuries to dozens of patients. Following the indictment, Durrani fled the United States and returned to his native country, where he's reportedly employed by a Pakistani hospital as chief of spinal surgery.

In October 2015, the US Department of Justice announced a $4.1 million settlement with one of the hospitals where Durrani operated, West Chester Hospital, and its parent company, UC Health. The settlement closed the books on federal charges that the hospital had submitted Medicare and Medicaid claims for medically unnecessary spinal surgeries performed by Durrani.

But hundreds of civil lawsuits against the surgeon and the hospitals where he practiced are still pending, a delay that the defense's motion to switch from county to federal court will almost certainly lengthen.

"The only reason that they are doing this is to delay trial," says the spokesman for the firm representing 523 of Durrani's former patients. "This is the biggest medical malpractice case in the history of the Tri-State...a half-billion to a billion-dollar problem for these hospitals." (The Tri-State area in this instance refers to Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky.)

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