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Medication errors part of criminal charges in cancer clinic case

Patients daily rely on medications prescribed by their doctors. And no one relies on those medications more than patients facing serious or life-threatening illnesses. In New York and within our society in general, we hold doctors and medical professionals to high standards to ensure that patients receive the correct prescriptions and medications, and that medication mistakes aren’t made.
That wasn’t the case at a cancer clinic in Mississippi where a doctor was charged with health care fraud and making false statements. A federal judge recently sentenced the 50-year-old woman to 20 years in prison. She was also ordered to pay $8.2 million back to the cancer center. The judge pointed out how poorly the doctor treated the sick and vulnerable patients.
The claims against the doctor suggested that the facility watered down the drugs before administering them. Although this point was never proven, prosecutors did show that the clinic re-used syringes and also dispensed chemotherapy medications from re-used bags.
The doctor founded the clinic in 2005. An office manager and billing assistant were also sentenced in the case on related charges. Family members of some of the victims testified at the trial of the doctor, and one woman said that her sister was misdiagnosed with cancer but that the subsequent treatments at the clinic eventually led to her sister’s death this year.
The husband of one patient testified that his wife grew extremely ill while seeking treatment at the center and believes she died, not because of her cancer, but because of medication she received. In addition to these criminal charges, civil lawsuits have also been filed against the doctor.
Family members of victims or injured patients themselves may be able to recover compensation for doctor negligence. As was the situation in Mississippi, these cases often relate to medication errors and a general failure to provide appropriate care.

Author

Jay W. Dankner

JAY W. DANKNER was born, raised and educated in Brooklyn, New York. After graduation from law school in 1973, he joined the firm of the legendary, Harry H, Lipsig, under whose tutelage he learned the intricacies of civil litigation and trials. He tried and won his first case against General Motors in a case involving a design defect within weeks after his admission. Thereafter, he focused his attention on the emerging and developing field of law known as products liability litigation.

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