Did Hospital Settle Malpractice Case to Spite Its Chief of Surgery?
Hospital conspired to defame surgeon, says lawyer.
Published: February 8, 2012
How bad was the rift between hospital officials at the University of Illinois at Chicago and its one-time chief of surgery? So bad that when the hospital heard that both it and colorectal surgeon Herand Abcarian, MD, were about to be sued for malpractice for the death of one of his patients, the hospital settled with the plaintiff’s son for $950,000 – without letting Dr. Abcarian know. According to court documents, the university specifically instructed the plaintiff’s attorney to individually sue Dr. Abcarian and not serve him. The hospital then reported Dr. Abcarian to the state medical board and the National Practitioner Data Bank. Dr. Abcarian went to court to take his name off the settlement, but was prevented from doing so.
All of this and more is detailed in court records. Dr. Abcarian, MD, an outspoken critic of university authorities over such issues as risk management, faculty recruitment and faculty compensation, only found out about the settlement a few months later, when he was asked to verify the reports, according to his attorney, Joseph M. O’Callaghan. Dr. Abcarian refused to deal with the reports, stating that he had not been involved in the settlement.