If you’re considering a doctor, you‘re well aware of how much it’s generally advised to “check out your doctor”. In the interest of full disclosure, I decided to publish the legal issues which I’ve dealt with here on our website. Please read the information in detail and contact us if you have any questions
1) Wrongful termination suit initiated by nurse whose employment was terminated by Dr. Prasad
Headline: Nurse accuses doctor of ugly practices
Claim: A nurse’s employment was terminated by Dr. Prasad because of multiple medical treatment irregularities.
Comment: This situation can be seen as a legal “shakedown”. This nurse was upset about being fired and sought out an attorney who sent me a letter with a laundry list of claims. Many staff members saw this nurse as emotionally unstable with her behavior ranging from kind and caring to paranoia and rage. Ironically, I tried to help her by recommending resources to deal with her emotional issues. The lawyer representing the nurse (who in my opinion irresponsibly initiated legal action with no verified evidence) told my attorney that unless a settlement is made, the case would be filed in court. This strategy (in my opinion) is based on this lawyer knowing that if the case is filed in court, the statements become public record resulting in reputation damage. It was expected that I would pay out a settlement to make this “go away”. I knew that this was wrong and I fought back. During this process, attempts are made to discover evidence for the lawsuit. In reality (in my opinion) the nurse’s attorney hopes by demanding large volumes of paperwork, that someone in my position would offer a settlement to avoid ongoing legal costs. I chose to take on the legal expenses because I knew this was wrong. In spite of exhaustive investigation by the nurse’s attorneys of my office records (also known as a “fishing expedition”), no evidence came close to substantiating any of the claims. In addition, several health regulatory organizations were called in (more “fishing”) and nothing was found. It finally came to the pre-trial or arbitration deposition (in my opinion, something the nurse’s attorney never expected to happen). Finally, during the pre-trial deposition, the ex-employee stated several times that she “didn’t remember” the details of her complaints and she couldn’t remember whether some of the things she complained about were true. When she was shown charts, records etc. with her signatures on them, she pulled back even further and said that perhaps she was mistaken.
The nurse or ex-employee dismissed the case against our practice. If any of her allegations had been true, she most certainly would have pursued her case. That she (and her lawyer) voluntarily dismissed her case speaks volumes.
In addition, she stated how much she acknowledged that I’m an excellent surgeon and that she had referred numerous friends and family members who I operated on. She had even done a video review of her experience with me after I performed her facelift.
Outcome: Case was withdrawn. No settlement. No award.
2) Malpractice Claim
Court: Supreme Court of the State of New York County of Kings
Dated: May 20, 2002
Dates of treatment of patient: February 7, 1996 – April 17, 2000
Case summary: Patient underwent upper eyelid ptosis surgery on September 30, 1999. She had an unusual post-operative course where asymmetry was seen and was initially treated by performing corrective surgery. Despite the surgical corrections, she continued to have swelling and asymmetry. She was eventually diagnosed with Graves’ disease and required treatment for the inflammation related to the Graves’ disease. The suit alleged failure to diagnose and manage her properly.
Comment: This was a situation where the patient believed that my diagnosis was incorrect and that my treatment also incorrect. The patient and her attorney were unable to establish a medical basis for this claim in spite of approximately 10 years of trying (my opinion). My malpractice company was willing to go to court to defend me but we decided that the legal costs and time away from my practice would be more costly. My malpractice company paid ninety thousand dollars (more than thirty thousand dollars probably went to the attorney-generally a loss when a malpractice claim is initiated) to close the case.
Outcome: Case settled for ninety thousand dollars in 2011. No malpractice judgment made.
As a successful surgeon in practice for over 20 years, I’m well aware that I can be in the crosshairs of:
1) Litigious patients
2) Disgruntled employees
Working hard and caring for patients the right way has been my shield from these realities of modern practice. The legal system has virtually no penalties to lawyers initiating frivolous legal action yet its no secret that many attorneys initiate these actions with the expectation of never having to go to court to prove their case, but rather get a percentage of a pre-court settlement. I live by strong principles and will always be committed to care for my patients like my family. My patients ultimately determine the quality of my care. Conservatively, I perform over 1000 cosmetic procedures a year and have been in practice for over 20 years. My patients know me and trust my resolve to provide the highest level of care. In addition to our patients, our employees routinely have procedures and bring their family and friends.
We are available to discuss further any questions you have
Amiya Prasad, M.D.