A Texas doctor accused of unnecessary stenting has slipped three of four trials against him with his license to practice in the Lone Star State intact.
Dr. Samuel DeMaio, accused last year of standard-of-care violations related to nine patients who allegedly received un-needed stents, angiograms and ICD implants, had pushed for a trial after mediation efforts with the Texas Medical Board collapsed.
DeMaio confirmed that the board "dropped most of their original allegations" and that he has no restrictions on his license and made no admission of guilt.
Five lawsuits filed over the allegations were dismissed and two were "resolved in his favor," according to heartwire. Although other co-defendants paid the plaintiffs in the settlements, DeMaio said, neither he nor his insurer are on the hook for any payments.
"I don’t want to settle the [final] lawsuit because it’s a case where I don’t think I did anything wrong, and my attorney thinks I can fight it," he told the website.
“It’s good to have this behind me, with no restriction on my medical license and no official reprimand,” DeMaio told the Austin Statesman.
One patient, an 80-year-old man who refused bypass surgery, received 32 stents over 13 months. DeMaio maintains that those stents were necessary and met the proper standard of care, but conceded that he might not make the same decision today, if only because the board’s pursuit of charges against him have had a "chilling effect" on his medical decision-making.
Other allegations include failure to inform patients of risks and failure to obtain informed consent for off-label use of a device in one patient and five patients have filed lawsuits again DeMaio.
In July 2010, a Maryland hospital paid $1.8 million to settle allegations that senior leadership failed to properly address complaints of unnecessary stenting lodged against former cardiologist Dr. John McLean. McLean was convicted of health care fraud in July over insurance claims he filed on unnecessary stents implanted in Medicare and Medicaid patients, ordered unnecessary tests and made false entries in patient records.
In February 2011, fellow Maryland physician Dr. Mark Midei, a cardiologist at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, was accused of implanting unnecessary stents in as many as 369 patients. Midei lost his medical license in July, and the hospital paid $22 million to the federal government to settle a whistleblower lawsuit without admitting any guilt.
In June 2011 a whistleblower called out a Tennessee doc and two hospitals for allegations of unnecessary stenting and accused hospital leadership of attacking physicians who tried to oppose the scheme by giving them bad-faith peer reviews leading to their elimination from the medical staff.
Two Pennsylvania doctors are also under investigation for ordering an alleged 200 unnecessary stents between 2009 and 2010.
The lawsuits accuse the company and its management at the time (several of whom were ousted over the scandal) of misleading investors by concealing allegedly fraudulent reimbursement practices in its spine business.
The settlement must still be approved by U.S. District Court for Western Texas. It would settle all claims by shareholders who traded in ARTC stock between Dec. 11, 2007, and Feb. 18, 2009.
"If the settlement is approved, counsel for the plaintiff will apply for an award of attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of expenses from the settlement fund," according to an ArthroCare press release.
The Alameda, Calif.-based company said the USPTO judges went its way in a patent interference lawsuit with the University of California, San Francisco, and "have confirmed the inventorship" of the patents, which cover its AzaSite bacterial eye infection treatment.
The school claimed in 2009 that the inventions covered by the patents, "Topical treatment or prevention of ocular infections," were made by a former employee of the university "alone and without collaboration with InSite Vision."
"The USPTO has now entered judgment against that claim," according to a press release. Read more
PE firm: UBS "mumbo-jumbo" can’t conceal role in MediCor Ponzi scheme
Silver Oak Capital LLC, which is suing two affiliates of UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) for their alleged parts in the Ponzi scheme that brought down breast implant maker MediCor Inc. and sent its former CEO to prison.
Silver Oak lost its $50 million investment in MediCor after the company went bankrupt following the scheme’s exposure. Founder, chairman and CEO Donald McGhan got a 10-year sentence in 2009 for siphoning funds from a real estate investment company he bought to shore up MediCor, disguised as loans.
In January, the SEC sued McGhan and other former executives over the scheme.
Now Silver Oak is accusing the UBS affiliates of using "legerdemain and legal mumbo-jumbo" to obscure their culpability.
"In what can only be described as a new level of unmitigated gall, defendant UBS Financial – a knowing participant in the fraud – asks the court to grant it summary judgment at this stage of the proceedings. It is indisputable – and defendant UBS Financial does not dispute it – that UBS Financial was an active participant in the underlying Ponzi scheme, and in the private placement, and thus had full knowledge of the fraud perpetrated on the plaintiffs," according to documents filed with New York’s Supreme Court.
"UBS Financial nevertheless seeks exoneration contending that it is not responsible for the false statements communicated by its affiliate UBS Securities LLC, while UBS Securities claims it did not know about the Ponzi scheme. By this gamesmanship defendants seek the bizarre result that no one is responsible for the fraud and the victims have no remedy. As we demonstrate below, no amount of legerdemain or legal mumbo-jumbo is sufficient to exonerate UBS Financial from its central role in the fraud perpetrated against the plaintiffs," according to the documents.