14 lawsuits, settlements in anesthesiology this year

Fourteen lawsuits and settlements involving anesthesiologists so far this year:

January

A Pennsylvania anesthesiologist was sentenced to prison for filing numerous fraudulent income tax returns from 2010-18, the Department of Justice announced Jan. 16. James Allen Jr., DO, received a 30-month sentence for failing to report over $3 million in income that he and his wife earned as anesthesiologists.

Former anesthesiologist Jayam Krishna Iyer, MD, will pay more than $102,000 to settle allegations that she violated the False Claims Act, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida announced Jan. 7.

February

A lawsuit representing about 800 surgery patients was filed against UC San Diego Medical Center after former anesthesiologist Bradley Hay, MD, allegedly treated them while he was high on fentanyl. Dr. Hay had his medical license revoked and was convicted of taking fentanyl from the hospital during surgeries. 

March

Anesthesiologist Floyd Smith, MD, agreed to pay $70,000 to resolve allegations that he prescribed drugs in violation of state law and outside professional standards, the DOJ announced March 30.

Manuel Lopes Fontes, MD, an anesthesiologist at New Haven, Conn.-based Yale University, was promoted after six female colleagues accused him of sexual assault and harassment and reported his alleged behavior to school officials, according to a lawsuit covered on myarklamiss.com. Dr. Fontes' lawyer denied all the allegations.

A former anesthesiologist accused of choking a nurse at Lone Tree, Colo.-based Sky Ridge Medical Center pleaded guilty March 9 to felony and misdemeanor charges. Beth Duche, RN, told police that Mark Ryan, MD, forcefully grabbed and squeezed her neck in October 2018 after she asked him to stop turning off recovering patients' vital sign machines. Another nurse said she saw the attack.

May

Christopher West, a certified registered nurse anesthetist in Charles City, Iowa, received a 34-month federal prison sentence and $15,000 fine May 29 for tampering with fentanyl vials in a hospital's surgery and birthing centers.

June

Anesthesiologist Amarjit Virk, MD, is entitled to the nearly $2.7 million in damages he was awarded in a wrongful termination suit against Williamsville, N.Y.-based Maple-Gate Anesthesiologists, his former employer, according to a June 8 court document. 

The Wyoming Supreme Court affirmed a lower court's ruling that anesthesiologist Ronald Stevens, MD, didn't breach his fiduciary duties when he took business from his former anesthesia group.

July

A Katy, Texas, anesthesiologist paid $100,000 to resolve allegations he falsely billed Medicare for acupuncture. Jaime Robledo, MD, is accused of fraudulently billing Medicare for neurostimulator electrode implantation procedures he did not perform between Nov. 1, 2018, and March 31, 2019.

Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Wellness Wave surgical center owner Randy Rosen, MD, and his companion were held on $52 million bail for charges alleging they defrauded 18 insurance companies from June 2017 to May 2019.

August

An anesthesiologist was sentenced to more than five years in federal prison after pleading guilty to involvement in a $200 million fraud scheme at Dallas-based Forest Park Medical Center, a now-defunct physician-owned hospital for bariatric and spinal patients, according to the DOJ.

September

Anesthesiologist Terry Ramnanan, MD, is suing New Jersey for $100 million, claiming the nearly two years he spent defending himself against "fabricated charges" of illegal kickbacks caused irreparable damage to his reputation and 40-year career.

An anesthesiologist and the family of a patient reached a $9.38 million settlement Aug. 18, over claims the anesthesiologist failed to provide proper care, which caused the patient to suffer cardiac arrest.

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