Med-mal plaintiffs reach $66M settlement against northwest Indiana cardiologist

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A settlement exceeding $66 million has been announced in favor of more than 260 patients who claimed they were the victims of malpractice at the hands of a northwest Indiana doctor who allegedly performed unnecessary cardiac procedures and device implantations.

The Indianapolis firm of Cohen & Malad P.C. and the Merrillville firm of Theodoros & Rooth announced the $66.5 million settlement on Tuesday. The firms represent 262 patients who sued Dr. Arvind Gandhi and his associates at Cardiology Associates of Northwest Indiana P.C.

The terms of the settlement are confidential, and the defendants “deny that they had engaged in any negligent or otherwise improper conduct and deny any liability relative to the claims,” according to the Tuesday announcement from the plaintiffs’ firms. The announcement said the settlement was reached “with a Northwest Indiana cardiology group, a Northwest Indiana hospital, and with the participation of the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund … .”

The settlement comes after six years of litigation against Gandhi, his associates and cardiology practice, and Community Hospital of Munster. Plaintiffs claimed that Gandhi’s group had implanted pacemakers or defibrillators they didn’t need and routinely scheduled unnecessary procedures, among other allegations.

Some cases proceeded to state court while others were filed with the Indiana Department of Insurance. The first verdict against Gandhi was handed down in December 2015.

In October 2014, Cohen & Malad announced that more than 20 medical malpractice injury lawsuits had been filed. By 2016, that number had increased to nearly 300.

Several cases named Community Hospital of Munster as a defendant, claiming the hospital “act(ed) in concert with the doctors, and that the hospital was putting profits ahead of patient safety by allowing doctors to do things they were not qualified to do.” Community Hospital denied those allegations.

According to the Tuesday announcement, paperwork for claimants or their estates is being completed to consummate the settlement.

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