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columbus represent

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Oh Those Frivolous Lawsuits

From the Cincinnati Post/Dayton Daily News
 
Monday, July 23, 2007

Docs don't have to be insured

By Anthony Gottschlich
 

FAILURE TO DISCLOSE BRINGS PENALTY

Failure to disclose a lack of malpractice insurance isn't a crime in Ohio, but it's subject to disciplinary action by the State Medical Board of Ohio.

Penalties include a reprimand up to a permanent revocation of the physician's medical license.

DAYTON - Driving a car is enough of a risk that Ohio requires its motorists to carry liability insurance.
But that same reasoning doesn't apply to another life-and-death endeavor: the practice of medicine. There's no law requiring physicians to carry professional liability insurance.

Patrick Wilson found that out after his 44-year-old wife died following her second weight loss surgery in 2003 at Sycamore Hospital in Miamisburg.

Wilson tried to sue the surgeon who performed the operation, Dr. David J. Fallang of the Surgical Weight Loss Center in Dayton, but his lawyer gave up when he discovered Fallang didn't have malpractice insurance and had shielded his assets from civil judgments.

"Dr. Fallang has succeeded in making himself judgment-proof," attorney J. Pierre Tismo of Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz wrote to Wilson.

While malpractice insurance isn't required, Ohio law mandates that physicians who lack the insurance inform patients in writing and obtain a signed consent form prior to treatment in non-emergency cases.

Fallang, who's been sued 22 times in Butler and Montgomery counties for malpractice since 1991, didn't do that.

"I never knew such a statute existed," Fallang, 57, said from his office at Elizabeth Place, the former St. Elizabeth's Hospital.

This brilliant surgeon's excuse?

The Middletown resident admits "I'm not perfect," but he doesn't believe any of the cases against him involved malpractice. He said the suits were largely manufactured by the "medical malpractice lawsuit industry."

Those damn lawyers, killing patients, just so that the family can become wealthy.

 
"To be perfectly blunt, I don't believe that it's my responsibility to make my patients rich if there should be an adverse occurrence," Fallang said. "My responsibility is to take the best medical care of them that I know how."
 
Now, just about anything can go wrong in any kind of procedure. You know that as a patient going into whatever you are going into. For example, I'm about to have major surgery. I'm not planning on suing my surgeon. I have the utmost faith in him as an upstanding guy who would in fact take the best medical care of me that he knows how. That's cool. And it doesn't mean that something couldn't go wrong, I know that. But unfortunately, not all surgeons are like him. And at the expense of the patients, those few surgeons really fuck it up for the rest of them, making it sound like anything that is actual malpractice, gross negligence, whatever is just some greedy ass person who was willing to die or be deformed or maimed or disabled for life to line their pockets with some doctor's duckets.  I know surgeons are among the top 25 paid professions in the country, they are not stupid, so why do they buy into the insurance industry racket and place the patient at the heart of the problem?

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