New York Doctor Focus of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits, Criminal Probe

New York Doctor Focus of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits, Criminal ProbeAn orthopedic surgeon in Duchess County, New York, who has been accused of medical malpractice is now under criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Poughkeepsie Journal reports.

According to the media outlet, Mid Hudson Medical Group has filed a motion, hoping the multiple civil lawsuits that have been filed against it and Dr. Spyros Panos will be put on hold during the criminal investigation. The motion also requests the court to seal records and to consolidate the lawsuits for pretrial and discovery proceedings.

While Mid Hudson Medical Group President Joseph Garvey declined to comment on the current situation, earlier, Garvey told the Journal Panos was fired in July for failing to meet “professional standards.”

The criminal investigation was spurred by evidence that Panos had allegedly committed fraud, which included seeking payments for false representations of procedures. The civil suits, filed by former patients, accuse the doctor of performing surgeries but intentionally not treating or improperly treating patients’ injuries.

In the complaints, Saint Francis Hospital and Vassar Brothers Medical Center are also listed as defendants, according to the news provider. Mid Hudson’s motion states that currently, 40 cases have been filed against Panos, while a total of 100 to 200 lawsuits are expected to be filed by plaintiff’s lawyers.

A separate article published in the Poughkeepsie Journal noted that despite Mid Hudson’s request to keep court records sealed, an appellate court has ruled the records will remain public. The ruling states New York Supreme Court Justice Lewis Lubell of Putnam County will still consider the motion on March 5, when he will decide whether the civil cases should be postponed during the investigation.