An Ohio jury recently awarded a woman more than $1 million in damages after it found that a Cincinnati spine doctor was negligent in performing surgery on the female patient. The verdict was announced after a weeklong trial. This is just one of dozens of lawsuits filed against a doctor that fled the state last month against a judge’s order. An arrest warrant has been issued for Dr. Abubakar Atiq Durrani, who is believed to be in Pakistan.
Michael Lyon, Durrani’s attorney, stated that he was “very surprised” by the decision and is contemplating an appeal. Lyon further stated that he thought the jury was displeased and mad that Dr. Durrani was not present for the trial. Lyon believes Dr. Durrani’s absence made it impossible for him to defend the case. It is doubtful Dr. Durrani will return to the United States because of his status as a “fugitive from justice.”
A number of former patients in the Cincinnati area filed lawsuits against Dr. Durrani alleging similar negligence. On top of these lawsuits, forty-five-year-old Dr. Durrani faces thirty-six federal criminal charges, including distributing controlled substances, lying about health care matters, and health care fraud. The federal indictment alleges that between 2008 and 2013, Dr. Durrani performed many unnecessary spine surgeries, often without waiting to observe the results of pain injections or related therapy treatments. Dr. Durrani performed this work in his private practice in both Cincinnati and Florence, Kentucky. Dr. Durrani allegedly lied to patients and told them that their medical situations were urgent and required immediate surgery. The federal indictment specifically states that Dr. Durrani “would often tell a patient that there was a risk of paralysis or the head would fall off it the patient was in a car accident because there was almost nothing attaching the head to the patient’s body.”
Ohio surgeon found negligent in 1 of many lawsuits, www.palmbeachpost.com January 14, 2013