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Medical malpractice lawsuits settled for $40 million

A former orthopedic surgeon who served time in prison for health care fraud has agreed to settle more than 250 medical malpractice lawsuits against him, news outlets report.

The former orthopedist was released from prison about a year ago. The plaintiffs in the medical malpractice cases have agreed to settle their claims with the pair of insurance companies that covered Spyros Panos and his former employer.

Panos pleaded guilty to a single count of felony health care fraud in 2013 and served about three years of a four-and-a-half year sentence.

An attorney for some of the plaintiffs said she was pleased with a "reasonable and fair" settlement, but acknowledged that despite the millions of dollars involved, “the agreement will never fix any of these people or make them whole again."

Past news articles reported that the New York doctor averaged 17 surgeries a day and saw as many as 90 patients in a single office day. He also admitted to performing unneeded surgical procedures on multiple patients. The former surgeon also conceded that sometimes he put patients under anesthesia and did nothing at all, though Medicare was billed as if he had performed surgeries.

“I wish I could tell you I had noble motives for this -- but I did not,” Panos said. “I did this out of greed and insecurity."

Court documents stated that the former surgeon was paid more than $7 million by his employer.

Hopefully the recent settlement will help former patients with current and future medical costs and other damages.

Those who have been harmed by a negligent doctor or hospital staff can speak with an attorney experienced in medical malpractice litigation and negotiation about their legal options.

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