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Weinberger cases settle for $55M

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Hundreds of patients of a former Merrillville ear, nose and throat doctor serving a seven-year federal sentence for health-care fraud will be compensated for their medical malpractice claims through a $55 million settlement.

The Indiana Department of Insurance and two law firms that represent 282 malpractice claimants announced the settlement in a joint statement Monday. The patients represent the majority of more than 350 malpractice claims against former Dr. Mark Weinberger, who billed himself as “The Nose Doctor.” The settlement involves patients represented by Cohen & Malad LLP of Indianapolis and Theodoros & Rooth P.C. of Merrillville.

Weinberger was sentenced in October after he pleaded guilty to 22 counts of health care fraud. Weinberger eluded authorities for years after initial malpractice claims were filed in 2004. He was discovered hiding in the Italian Alps in 2009.

Patients accused Weinberger of performing unnecessary or outmoded surgeries, including drilling holes in patients’ sinuses, which worsened their conditions. Weinberger refused to answer questions in the civil cases, attorneys said.

“I am pleased that, after over eight years, the parties were able to overcome the roadblocks that had been preventing settlement,” Indiana Department of Insurance Commissioner Stephen W. Robertson said in a statement.

The settlement was signed Monday by Lake Superior Judge John Pera.

“Coming to a resolution of the cases with the department goes a long way toward closure for Dr. Weinberger’s patients,” said David Cutshaw of Cohen & Malad.

Under the settlement, the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund will provide $55 million to pay malpractice claims. Cutshaw and Barry Rooth of Theodoros & Rooth said Monday that litigation against Weinberger's medical malpractice insurance carrier will continue.

“There are limits of liability that are still in our view available,” Rooth said in an interview.

Cutshaw said plaintiffs signed off on settlements that were reviewed by an ethicist who assigned value to each claim based on certain objective factors. Claimants were aware of the total settlement, how much they would receive and how much others, identified by initials, would receive.

“On behalf of our clients, I’d like to express our appreciation to Commissioner Robertson for his willingness to take the necessary and unprecedented steps to compensate Weinberger’s many victims,” Rooth said in the statement. “It’s been a long road for them.”

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  1. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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