LOS ANGELES (CN) – A woman claims a doctor screwed up her surgery after failing to warn her that the state Medical Board was investigating him for gross negligence in the care of three patients – two of whom died.
Bridget Sandoval claims Dr. Kevork George Tashjian screwed up her lap-band surgery so badly she needed a second surgery to remove the band, which “had slipped” and “cut into her stomach wall, causing damage to her stomach”.
Sandoval says she met the long list of defendants after responding to a radio ad for 1-800-GET-THIN.
After calling the 1-800 number, Sandoval says she was directed to the defendants’ main office, in Beverly Hills, where she met defendant Julian Omidi “who introduced himself as ‘Dr. Julian Omidi,’ despite the fact the Medical Board of California had previously issued a decision revoking his medical license on Oct. 26, 2007.”
The Superior Court complaint continues: “In its decision, the Medical Board found that Julian Omidi was arrested and convicted for burglary of exam papers while attending UC-Irvine, had fraudulently misrepresented the educational institutions he attended on his medical license application, and had demonstrated a ‘penchant for dishonesty, to bend his position and shade his statements to suit his needs, without consistent regard for the truth.”
At that appointment, she says, Julian Omidi “personally” weighed and measured her and told her “that he would take off a couple inches from her height in order to increase her BMI score so that her insurance would cover the cost of her lap band surgery.” Omidi also tried to talk her and her husband into other surgeries, Sandoval says, which apparently they declined.
Sandoval says she underwent surgery on April 17, 2008 at defendant Top Surgeons, of West Hills, from a doctor who is not named as a defendant.
She says she went to follow-up appointments with Tashjian, who “refused to perform a fluoroscopy or endoscopy, and instead prescribed Protonix, an acid-reflux medication” after she complained of pain, nausea, and acid reflux.
“Unbeknownst to plaintiff at the time he treated her, Dr. Tashjian was then under investigation by the Medical Board of California for ‘gross negligence’ in the treatment of three (3) patients (2 of whom died), which later resulted in a formal accusation being filed against him on Nov. 3, 2009 by the California Attorney General to revoke his medical license,” according to the complaint. Sandoval says Tashjian “stipulated to a disciplinary order” with the state Medical Board on Nov. 8, 2010, “resulting in a public reprimand against him.”
Sandoval says she went to see the surgeon who performed the lap-band surgery, for a second opinion, after suffering painful symptoms for 5 to 6 months. She says he told her that the lap-band “had slipped and needed to be corrected surgically.” Sandoval says she underwent corrective surgery on April 16, 2010, and when she awoke the surgeon told her “that the lap band had eroded and cut into her stomach wall, causing damage to her stomach requiring sutures to her stomach wall,” and that the lap band had to be removed.
Sandoval claims that Tashjian had improperly adjusted her lap band “so as to cause it to slip, and then misdiagnosed her condition as ‘reflux’ and refused to perform an endoscopy or other procedure to check the placement and condition of the lap band, causing permanent damage to the plaintiff’s stomach wall.”
She says she cannot have the lap band replaced, and now has trouble eating meat and other solid foods.
Sandoval says the defendants promoted themselves “as a medical service provider offering, among other things, lap band surgery, and used certain corporate entities or factitious business names as vehicles operating in conjunction and concert with one another for the purpose of saturating the local advertising market and soliciting patients for the lap band procedure for the purpose of dominating the market.”
She says they used billboards, radio, TV and print ads “all with catchy slogans and jingles without meaningful warnings that made the lap band surgery sound too good to be true for the purpose of encouraging persons to undergo the procedure for the defendants’ personal gain.”
Here are the defendants: Dr. Kevork George Tashjian, Top Surgeons Inc., Top Surgeons LLP. Julian Omidi, Dr. Michael Omidi individually and dba 1-800-GET-SLIM and Weight Loss Centers; and Skin Cancer and Reconstructive Surgery Specialists of Valencia.
Sandoval seeks general and special compensatory damages and medical expenses for medical malpractice and fraud.
She is represented by John Walker of Woodland Hills.