Michigan’s Beaumont hospital system has come under scrutiny recently for rampant misdiagnosis of epilepsy. One of its doctors has been sued by 251 plaintiffs who were wrongly diagnosed—and treated—for the disease.
The hospital’s response to these concerns has been similarly flawed—rewarding executives who ignored complaints and red flags that had been raised for years.
Dr. Yasser Awaad is the doctor who has come under fire. He has been accused of misreading over 1,700 electroencephalogram (EEG) brain scans. 251 plaintiffs have come forward after being falsely diagnosed with epilepsy.
Justice for a nine-year-old girl
One of these plaintiffs—Mariah Martinez—was nine years old when she received her diagnosis and began treatment. Brian J. McKeen—a renowned medical malpractice attorney specializing in injuries to children—represented Mariah in her case.
McKeen cited 15 red flags surrounding Awaad’s conduct. For instance, when Awaad was previously investigated for an earlier case of epilepsy misdiagnosis, he refused to release the brain scan results to investigators as evidence. The investigation was then discontinued.
A pediatrician who worked with Awaad also filed multiple complaints with the hospital about suspected misdiagnosis. The hospital executives ignored the complaints and instead swept the issue under the rug.
As a result of a pattern of negligence at multiple levels, Martinez was similarly misdiagnosed when she visited Dr. Awaad years after the initial complaints began. She endured years of treatment and medication she didn’t need. She believed herself to be disabled—unable to participate in sports and other aerobic activities. She suffered emotional damages for a medical condition she didn’t even have.
McKeen recently won the case for Martinez, resulting in over $3 million in damages.
Insensitive hospital response
Shortly after the news of Beaumont’s misdiagnosis problems, another issue was discovered. News broke that the not-for profit hospital’s executives—who had previously ignored warnings about Awaad’s malpractice—received substantial pay raises of over $1 million each. One executive received a whopping 82% raise.
SEIU Healthcare—Michigan’s largest healthcare union—wrote in a press release that Beaumont executives are getting rich while patient care standards drop.
The behavior of Dr. Awaad—and of executives at Beaumont hospital—is disgraceful. The medical profession is built around helping patients to live healthy lives. But Beaumont prioritized profits over patient wellbeing.
As a patient, you rely on the opinions of medical professionals to keep you healthy. But if your doctor acts negligently, you don’t have to accept the consequences. You have the right to seek legal justice.