After four years of litigation, a Baltimore City Circuit Court judge approved a $37 million settlement as the result of two class-action lawsuits filed against St. Joseph Medical Center.
The 273 plaintiffs reached an agreement with Catholic Health Initiatives Inc., the company that formerly owned the hospital, earlier this year. With this now approved, each plaintiff is going to receive at least $135,000.
Despite the money that is being paid out to the plaintiffs, the settlement does not include admission of liability from the doctor who performed the operations or Catholic Health.
The judge who approved the settlement feels that it is in the best interest of those involved, saying, “I find this settlement, fair, reasonable, adequate and in the best interest of the class.”
The lawsuit and eventual settlement was in relation to a doctor who allegedly performed unnecessary stent procedures. In both lawsuits, Catholic Health and St. Joseph are accused of collecting millions upon millions of dollars from the procedures completed by the doctor.
Medical malpractice comes in many shapes and forms, from procedures that do not need to be completed, such as is the case with this lawsuit, to those involving errors in hospitals and medication errors. With each type, however, the patient is the one who is impacted the most.
In this case, the doctor who performed the procedure, as well as the hospital, found themselves in trouble soon enough. As a result, $37 million will be paid out to nearly 275 plaintiffs, all of whom underwent a stent procedure that was deemed unnecessary.
Source: The Daily Record, “Judge approves $37M settlement in stent ligitation” Danny Jacobs, May. 23, 2014