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Two stent suits to be settled

Class actions resolved against Midei, hospital in state and U.S. courts

Settlements are pending in two class-action lawsuits filed by patients who alleged they received unnecessary stents at St. Joseph Medical Center, according to court documents.

Catholic Health Initiatives Inc., the former owner of the Towson hospital, confirmed the agreement to resolve the cases in U.S. District Court in Baltimore and Baltimore City Circuit Court. The settlements will include Catholic Health, St. Joseph and Mark Midei, a former doctor who performed many of the stent operations and is described in the federal lawsuit as the hospital’s “haloed rainmaker.” Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

“The parties executed the settlement to avoid the uncertainties and costs of continued litigation, and the settlement does not include any admission of liability,” Catholic Health said in a statement.

The settlements in both lawsuits still require formal court approval. Baltimore City Circuit Judge Sylvester B. Cox granted preliminary approval Monday for the settlement in state court and has scheduled a hearing for final approval May 23, according to court records.

In federal court, Senior U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis on Monday stayed and administratively closed the case because “it appears that the parties have agreed upon a basis of settlement but will require additional time to consummate the agreement,” according to court records.

Both lawsuits accuse Catholic Health and St. Joseph of collecting hundreds of millions of dollars from the stent procedures.

The state court lawsuit was filed in January 2010, the federal lawsuit three years later. Both were brought by some high-profile names in medical liability and litigation.

The plaintiffs in both cases are represented by The Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos P.C. in Baltimore and Murphy Falcon & Murphy in Baltimore, while the plaintiffs in the federal litigation are also represented by Janet, Jenner & Suggs LLC in Pikesville.

The suits include counts for fraud, unjust enrichment and negligence. The plaintiffs also asked that Catholic Health provide medical insurance to those who lost insurance after undergoing a stent implant and that the company be prevented from withdrawing proceeds from the sale of St. Joseph to the University of Maryland Medical System in 2012.

Under the terms of the sale, Catholic Health remains liable for any judgments arising out of the stent litigation.

The two sides in the federal case have held multiple mediation sessions since October, prompting Garbis to suspend the scheduling order and stay the case multiple times. Last week, lawyers on both sides asked the judge to stay the case through April 18, according to court records.

The settlements would not immediately end the stent litigation, as dozens of individual plaintiffs still have pending claims, according to court records.

Last May, a confidential settlement was reached in a separate medical malpractice case brought against St. Joseph and Midei by 21 plaintiffs in Baltimore County Circuit Court.