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Medical malpractice suit settled with New Jersey doctor

In July 2008, a New Jersey doctor performed a spinal fusion operation that consisted of three-levels and took seven hours to complete. The patient's pain failed to resolve, and after researching the man who performed her surgery, she filed a medical malpractice suit. That suit was recently settled.

The New Jersey woman's research revealed that the doctor who performed her complex surgery was only a licensed anesthesiologist, not a surgeon. She also discovered that his medical license in another country was revoked after he killed a dental patient to whom he administered anesthesia. The extent of his spinal surgery experience was a three-week course performing procedures on cadavers in an Asian country — and the procedures were only minimally invasive. This woman's case and others resulted in an investigation that ultimately revoked the doctor's license here in New Jersey.

The doctor attempted to discredit the patient by posting a video of her that he says indicates that she is faking her symptoms. However, the video actually bolstered the woman's case. This may have been the reason that the man agreed to pay the woman $425,000. She will receive a total settlement of $615,000 from all of the case's defendants.

Patients often question their doctors regarding a diagnosis or the necessity of certain treatments or medications. However, it does not often cross a person's mind to question whether a doctor is even qualified to perform a procedure. When an unqualified — or even a qualified — physician or surgeon makes an error that causes serious or permanent injury to a patient, it is the right of the patient to file a medical malpractice claim seeking damages that could help with current or future medical needs, among other things.

Source: northjersey.com, "North Jersey pain doctor settles spine surgery suit for $425,000", Lindy Washburn, June 25, 2014

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