The current Medical Economics, in "Do these doctors give medicine a black eye?" discusses the questions that have been raised about two cardiologists participating in fen-phen class action litigation for certain plaintiff's firms. The case has already been settled, and claims are being handled by a trustee responsible for overseeing the use of the funds. The article discloses:
- This September, lawyers for the settlement trust filed a civil suit against [a Kansas City cardiologist, one of the experts in question] charging that she had "engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity and intentionally defrauded" the trust by "submitting misleading and false medical evidence to support illegitimate claims" for which the trust has paid many millions of dollars. Her lawyer denies those charges.
- In November, trust lawyers also filed suit against the New York cardiologist, alleging that he had certified that "certain claimants had serious valvular heart disease when he either knew that they did not or knew he had no reasonable basis for certifying that they did." His lawyer had no comment.
- In late 2002, worried that many fen-phen claims had "no reasonable medical basis," the judge ordered a suspension of payments on all pending claims submitted by the two plaintiffs' firms or certified by their two medical experts until they are audited.
In commenting on one of the cardiologists, who had made $3 million in less than one year by interpreting more than 10,000 echocardiograms done for one of the law firms, a judge said, "Her practice resembled a mass production operation that would have been the envy of Henry Ford."