A $37 million settlement agreement has been reached between the former owner of a Maryland hospital and patients of Dr. Mark Midei who went through unnecessary heart stent procedures.
Although Midei wasn't a party to the lawsuit, the settlement agreement seeks to do away with the class action lawsuits against Catholic Health Initiatives for Midei's actions, according to The Baltimore Sun.
The settlement agreement must be finalized by a judge before it's binding, but if approved on the current terms, as many as 273 patients could receive compensation.
The Proposed Settlement
The lawsuit was brought by patients who allegedly received unnecessary heart stents as recommended by Midei. The patients sued Catholic Health Initiatives, the former owner of St. Joseph Medical Center in Baltimore, after the hospital sent notices to the patients warning them that they may have undergone an unnecessary procedure, the Sun reports.
According to the settlement agreement, Catholic Health Initiatives will pay millions to affected patients in order to avoid further litigation. However, individual plaintiffs can choose to opt out of the settlement agreement and sue the organization on their own in hopes of recovering more money.
Although Catholic Health Initiatives is agreeing to settle, it's not admitting to any wrongdoing in the settlement. Midei has since lost his medical license, according to the Sun.
Judge Must Approve Settlement Amount
Although the settlement agreement has the preliminary approval of a Baltimore judge, the judge must finalize the deal before it's official.
Injury settlements can be rejected by judges for various reasons, including:
- Not enough money. Depending on the number of plaintiffs that seek to recover under the settlement agreement, the agreed-upon amount may not be enough to cover their damages. This is very important to consider because one of the terms of the agreement will likely bar plaintiffs who recover money under the settlement from bringing another lawsuit for the same injury against the defendant.
- Too much money going to lawyers. The patients' attorneys are asking for 40 percent of the settlement amount for legal fees, according to the Sun. However, if this doesn't leave enough for the plaintiffs, the judge can reject it.
A final court hearing on the unnecessary heart stents settlement is set for next month.
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