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Couple settles stent case against PRMC

A Delaware couple has settled a medical malpractice lawsuit against Peninsula Regional Medical Center and a former doctor now serving a federal prison term for implanting unnecessary stents.

Julian and Denise Peacock alleged Julian Peacock received five stents from Dr. John R. McLean over the course of three operations between 2004 and 2006. The case was dismissed April 30, according to filings in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Terms were not disclosed.

McLean was sentenced to eight years in federal prison in November 2011 for health care fraud, including ordering his patients to undergo unnecessary follow-up examinations and tests and billing insurers for all of the work.

McLean had a private medical practice in Salisbury and hospital privileges at Peninsula Regional. The hospital reached an agreement with federal prosecutors in August 2011 to pay $1.8 million to settle allegations it was aware of McLean’s actions but failed to stop him between 2003 and 2006.

Thirteen other patients who alleged McLean unnecessarily implanted stents filed a federal lawsuit suit against him and Peninsula Regional in April 2010, according to court records. That case was settled in August 2011, also on terms that were not disclosed.

John R. Penhallegon of Cornblatt, Bennett, Penhallegon & Roberson P.A. in Towson, the hospital’s lawyer, declined to comment on the case. Pamela J. Diedrich and Mary V. McNamara Koch of Murphy, Falcon & Murphy in Baltimore, lawyers for the Peacocks, did not return calls for comment. Thomas C. Marriner of Cowdrey Thompson P.C. in Easton, McLean’s lawyer, also did not respond to a request for comment.

Julian Peacock, of Dagsboro, Del., was taken to Peninsula Regional on July 23, 2004 after suffering a heart attack, according to the complaint, filed in September 2012. McLean recorded a 90 percent blockage in one artery and implanted a stent, according to the complaint.

Peacock returned to the hospital two months later complaining of chest pain, and while it was determined he did not have a heart attack, McLean recorded a 95 percent blockage in another artery and implanted three more stents, according to the complaint.

Peacock, on McLean’s orders, returned to the hospital a week later for a cardiac catheterization, during which an angioplasty also was performed, the complaint said.

Peacock again was admitted to the hospital in July 2006 for an abnormal heart scan, the lawsuit states. McLean reported Peacock had heart disease, performed an angioplasty and implanted another stent.

Peninsula Regional began investigating McLean in early 2007. That March, Peacock called a hotline set up by the hospital to “specifically ask if the cardiac procedures and stents performed on him were necessary,” he alleged. A hospital employee told him the procedures were necessary and Peacock “dismissed the matter relying on the information given to him,” the lawsuit states.

But in September 2011, Peacock received a letter from the Department of Justice indicating he had received unnecessary stents and underwent unnecessary procedures, according to the lawsuit. The letter also asked Peacock to fill out a victim impact statement for use at McLean’s sentencing.

“The receipt of the letter from the DOJ was the first time that Mr. Peacock became aware that there was any problem with the care he received from Dr. McLean and PRMC,” he alleged. “The information came as a shock to Mr. Peacock.”

PEACOCK ET AL. V. PENINSULA REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER ET AL.

Court:

U.S. District Court, Baltimore

Case No.:

1:12-cv-02867-CCB

Judge:

Catherine C. Blake

Outcome:

Confidential settlement

Dates:

Events: July 2004, September 2004 and July 2006

Suit filed: Sept. 25, 2012

Settlement order: April 30, 2014

Plaintiffs’ Attorneys:

Pamela J. Diedrich, Mary V. McNamara Koch, Richard V. Falcon and William H. “Billy” Murphy Jr. of Murphy, Falcon & Murphy in Baltimore

Defendants’ Attorneys:

John R. Penhallegon of Cornblatt, Bennett, Penhallegon & Roberson P.A. in Towson and Thomas C. Marriner of Cowdrey Thompson P.C. in Easton

Counts:

Medical negligence, lack of informed consent, administrative negligence, fraud by intentional misrepresentation, negligent retention and supervision, loss of consortium