An eight-person jury ordered Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to pay $2 million in damages to a former patient of fugitive spine surgeon Atiq Durrani, MD.
The jury found the hospital guilty of acting with malice by allowing Dr. Durrani to perform an improper or medically unnecessary spinal surgery on Jacob Cotter, then 12, in 2008.
The lawsuit alleged Dr. Durrani used a biologic device during surgery that was not approved by the FDA without informing Mr. Cotter or his family. Additionally, the lawsuit claimed Mr. Cotter developed a staph infection postoperatively after his incision tore open. Because of this, Mr. Cotter missed half of a year of school to receive antibiotics through an IV and he currently experiences worse pain than before his procedure. He is required to take pain medications and muscle relaxants.
The jury ruled that Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is vicariously liable for Dr. Durrani’s actions and that the organization was negligent in allowing Dr. Durrani to perform Mr. Cotter’s surgery and use the biologic without the consent of the patient or family, according to the report.
In 2013, Dr. Durrani was indicted on 46 federal charges, including allegations that he knowingly left a guide wire inside a patient during surgery without the patient’s consent and allegations he let another surgeon operate in his name. Dr. Durrani fled to Pakistan in December 2013 after pleading not guilty to the federal charges, the report stated.
According to the report, more than 500 lawsuits were filed against Dr. Durrani and hospitals he operated at. In September, Cincinnati-based UC Health and West Chester Hospital settled with 14 of his former patients.
Thanks to Jackie Drees, Becker ASC Review and The Cincinnati Courier.