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Weinberger owes patient $150k for unnecessary surgery

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Dr. Mark S. Weinberger, who fled the country for several years after performing numerous unnecessary surgeries on his patients’ sinuses, must pay one patient $150,000 on a medical malpractice claim.

Gloria Gill is just one of many of Weinberger’s former patients who sued him for medical malpractice. Weinberger, an ear, nose and throat doctor in northwest Indiana, disappeared while on vacation in the Mediterranean with his family in 2004 and was apprehended in the Italian Alps in 2009.

In 2003, Weinberger told Gill she needed sinus surgery to relieve her migraines and congestion problems. He made it seem like he performed seven types of surgeries on her sinuses; in fact, like with other patients, he merely drilled two holes in the sinuses. Her pain got worse and she eventually stopped seeing Weinberger in April 2004 for follow-up appointments because he was not receptive to her issues.

A medical review panel found Weinberger failed to comply with the appropriate standard of care and Gill sued in March 2010. Testimony at the trial showed that Weinberger had shipped camping equipment to his office, seemed nervous and may have fled because of the mounting medical malpractice suits against him. The jury awarded her $150,000.

The appellate court held in Mark S. Weinberger, M.D., et al. v. Gloria Gill, 45A05-1203-CT-107, the trial court didn’t err in denying Weinberger’s motion for a judgment on the evidence regarding Gill’s claim of patient abandonment, citing Weinberger v. Boyer, 956 N.E.2d 1095 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011), which also involved a patient suing for medical malpractice.

The judges also held that the testimony concerning Weinberger’s odd behavior and subsequent flight was relevant admissible evidence because it established an inference of consciousness of guilt. It does not matter that Gill stopped seeing Weinberger before he fled.

Lastly, Weinberger waived for review his claim that the court erred in letting Gill testify that she felt humiliated and angry when she learned Weinberger had disappeared in the middle of the night. Weinberger failed to object to Gill’s testimony at trial.

 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

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  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

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