Indiana Surgeon Faces Trial for Alleged Failure to Diagnose Cancer

Indiana Surgeon Faces Trial for Alleged Failure to Diagnose CancerAn Indiana surgeon who had fled to Italy and was captured five years later now faces trial for hundreds of medical malpractice lawsuits, including one filed over a patient's lung cancer death.

According to the suit, Phyllis Barnes visited defendant Mark Weinberger complaining of a raspy throat and nasal problems, The Associated Press reports. Weinberger allegedly treated her with unnecessary surgery, but never diagnosed her lung cancer – the condition that was causing her symptoms, the medical malpractice attorney on the case explained. Barnes died of lung cancer in 2004.

Last October, the doctor reportedly pleaded guilty to multiple counts of healthcare fraud for billing patients for procedures they did not receive, and is scheduled to be sentenced for these charges in April. Weinberger also faces hundreds of medical malpractice lawsuits and one from his malpractice insurer, which claims that his escape to Italy made him an international fugitive, and that he should therefore be liable for the malpractice cases he faces.

According to the National Cancer Institute, lung cancer took 157,300 lives in the U.S. in 2010.