Earlier this week I wrote about Farid Fata, the disgraced Detroit-area “oncologist” convicted of healthcare fraud for performing unnecessary cancer treatments on unsuspecting patients, many of whom did not have cancer. Over 500 people underwent painful and often dangerous treatment, believing Fata was doing his best to save their lives. Several people died under his care.
It wasn’t until a whistleblower – actually an employee of Fata’s – uncovered the scam that the wheels of justice began to turn. Fata had ordered the treatments for one reason: to satisfy his greed by billing for as many expensive procedures as he could.
After several days of testimony by victims and survivors, a judge sentenced Fata to 45 years in prison for his shocking crimes.
Thankfully, the criminal justice system has meted out punishment on Fata and stopped his cruel scheme. But what about the victims and their survivors? As I pointed out in my earlier articles, Michigan’s civil remedies for medical malpractice are woefully inadequate to properly compensate patients and families for the pain, suffering, impairment, and limitation sustained at the hands of careless or unscrupulous doctors.
It’s time for Michigan to get rid of medical malpractice damage caps and let juries decide the amount of compensation to award. Punitive damages should be available, at least in some cases, to help deter the worst offending healthcare providers. As it stands, Michigan law protects doctors and hospitals at the expense of the patients who trust and rely on them for care in their times of need.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.