There’s a criminal case coming out of California right now that looks to be one of the bigger medical malpractice cases in recent memory.
Basically, an orthopedic surgeon named Dr. Munir Uwaydah has been charged with fraud after telling 21 patients he would perform surgeries on them. Instead, he actually had a physician’s assistant – who had never even attended medical school – do the procedures.
“All 21 patients sustained lasting scars and many required additional surgeries and suffered physical and psychological trauma as a result of their experience in Uwaydah’s clinics,” prosecutors said.
Prosecutors also say many of the surgeries weren’t even necessary to begin with.
In addition, authorities believe Dr. Munir Uwaydah and 14 associates, including another doctor and a lawyer, received $150 million through insurance fraud.
To make things even more complicated, Uwaydah’s office assistant was acquitted on murder charges two years ago for strangling the doctor’s ex-girlfriend.
The case spans a decade and appears to have included a district attorney investigator posing undercover as a patient for 3 months. Uwaydah and 10 others are charged with conspiracy, insurance fraud, aggravated mayhem, and more.
This story wouldn’t fit in a Law & Order episode – it would need its own miniseries. And while it’s tempting to look on and treat the whole thing like sordid entertainment, there are real victims here.
As a medical malpractice lawyer in Memphis, I hear a lot of concerns about malpractice law. Some people think malpractice law hurts good doctors, damages the reputations of people who did no harm, and drives up the cost of health care.
In actuality, my team is extremely careful with the cases we take. We have our reputation to protect, so we don’t take bogus cases or try to bring down perfectly good doctors.
But it’s important to remember there are bad doctors out there. Uwaydah’s case may be extreme, but the result for the victims is the same as we see every day in our office: permanent scarring, multiple surgeries to repair the injury, and psychological trauma.
You can’t have it both ways. You can’t get mad at Uwaydah and still think medical malpractice is bogus. Victims have to have an option, and they certainly shouldn’t be forced to pay for the damage done to their bodies.
That’s true for the victims of this high-profile case, and it’s true for the victims you don’t read about on the front page.
If you or someone you love has been hurt by medical malpractice, or if you aren’t sure if you have a case and would like to talk with an attorney, contact us today using the form on this page or call 901-327-1212. Our injury lawyers will be happy to discuss your case for free.