Imagine being forced to undergo painful chemotherapy treatments to fight cancer, only to learn later that the treatments were completely unnecessary.
That nightmare was a reality for patients of Detroit-area cancer doctor Farid Fata. As a recent article in The Detroit News explains, the doctor prescribed unneeded treatments to patients who did not actually have cancer, overmedicated others and undertreated some with legitimate need for medication. This was all part of Fata's complex scheme to defraud insurance companies and Medicare out of millions of dollars.
The Doctor Is Behind Bars
Fata now sits behind bars thanks to whistleblowers and criminal prosecution. He pleaded guilty to health care fraud, money laundering and other charges in 2014 and was sentenced to 45 years in federal prison last July. Federal prosecutors have identified 553 victims so far. However, Fata's seven clinics in the Detroit area treated more than 17,000 people, and there may be more victims out there.
As part of the criminal prosecution, the federal government liquidated $13 million in Fata's assets and used that money to create two restitution funds for victims. There is an $11.7 million fund to cover former patients' out-of-pocket expenses. There is a separate $1.5 million fund to cover funeral expenses and mental health treatment.
Unfortunately, the federal government's restitution funds will not cover pain and suffering, lost wages and some of the other costs incurred as the result of Fata's criminal activity and medical negligence.
That is where our attorneys came in.
Pursuing Medical Malpractice Claims Against The Doctor
Led by attorney Brian McKeen, we pursued medical malpractice claims on behalf of some of those who suffered the most due to doctor Fata's actions. Our claim targeted not only Fata, but also Fata's medical practice, Michigan Hematology Oncology, Crittenton Hospital, McLaren Health Care and St. Joseph Hospital/Trinity Health.
After a lengthy battle on the part of us and several other personal injury law firms, not only against our opponents, but seemingly the system itself, we obtained an $8 million settlement to be split among 43 of those who suffered serious harm at Fata's hands. The settlement was finalized in Oakland Circuit Court on Wednesday, July 20.
As one of our fellow lawyers working on the case said in The Detroit News article, "This is the very best that could be achieved."
Does The Law Work For Victims Of Medical Malpractice?
There were many obstacles standing in the way of getting fair compensation for all of Fata's victims. First and foremost was the fact that Michigan law does not actually require doctors to carry medical malpractice insurance. Those who do may only carry up to $200,000 per claim. That is not a lot of money when someone's life has been permanently altered and he or she may require lifelong medical care.
Furthermore, there was tort reform in Michigan in the 1990s that put a cap on the amount of money that could be provided to victims in medical malpractice claims.
Despite everything we were up against, we worked hard to find every available source of compensation in order to get some money for those who were hurt the most because of the actions of Fata and his colleagues. With more than 25 years of experience devoted to holding medical professionals accountable for wrongdoing, we know where to look and what to do in order to get meaningful results for victims. It is results like this one that have led to The Detroit News calling our lead attorney, Brian McKeen, "Michigan's Most Winning Medical Malpractice Lawyer."
Our lawyers are prepared to go up against any opponent in order to get results in medical negligence cases. The process always begins with a free consultation. Email us or call us at 866-585-1076 to discuss your claim with one of our experienced attorneys.