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Legal Fallout from Durrani Medical Malpractice Scandal Continues

Cleveland families place their trust in doctors on a daily basis. When a doctor recommends surgery, for example, we trust that the procedure is medically necessary. So when a doctor violates this trust and performs unnecessary or incorrect procedures, patients have every right to be angry–and take legal action against not only the surgeon, but those who aided and abetted his actions.

Cincinnati Hospital Ordered to Pay $2 Million, Federal Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Ohio Chief Justice

You may have read news reports about the ongoing legal fallout over Dr. Abubakar Atiq Durrani, a spinal surgeon formerly of Mason, Ohio, who is currently a fugitive from justice. In 2013, a federal grand jury indicted Durrani on ten counts of medical fraud. According to then-U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart, Durrani “performed unnecessary procedures and made false statements in relation to lumbar, thoracic, and cervical surgeries.” For example, Durrani allegedly lied to patients in order to obtain their consent for surgical procedures. In some cases, the indictment alleged, Durrani falsely told car accident victims “that there was a risk of paralysis or the head would fall off…because there was almost nothing attaching the head to the patient’s body.”
Durrani fled the United States, reportedly to his native Pakistan, sometime in late 2013. There has been no reported progress in the criminal case since January 2014, when Durrani’s criminal defense attorneys withdrew from the case, citing a lack of communication (or payment) from their client.
Meanwhile, a number of U.S.-based defendants have faced civil medical malpractice claims arising from Durrani’s actions. In December 2018, a jury in Hamilton County ordered Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to pay $2 million in damages to a patient who received “an unnecessary decompression procedure” from Durrani after he submitted his resignation from the hospital’s staff. Durrani botched the procedure as well, which has left the victim in a state where he requires constant morphine injections to manage his pain.
In a separate decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, affirmed a lower court’s decision declining to hear another set of claims arising from Durrani’s malpractice. In this case, Aaron v. O’Connor, a group of more than 500 plaintiffs previously sued Durrani and various hospitals in Ohio state court. In their federal lawsuit, these plaintiffs alleged the state judge who presided over their cases made decisions that were “biased against them.” In addition, the plaintiffs alleged Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor was actively telling the trial judge how to rule in their cases.
The federal lawsuit sought an injunction to prevent O’Connor from ruling on the plaintiffs’ request to disqualify the trial judge from continuing to preside over their cases. (The chief justice actually denied these requests while the federal litigation was pending.) But the Sixth Circuit said it was proper for the federal courts to “abstain” from interfering with matters related to the administration of an individual state’s court system.

Speak with a Cleveland Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today

The Durrani affair may go down as the single biggest medical malpractice scandal in Ohio history. But there are many smaller, everyday acts of malpractice that are just as devastating to the victims and their families. If you need advice from an experienced Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer, contact Tittle & Perlmuter at (216) 308-1522 today.

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