Patient Claims Doc Used Her for Profit

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – A Los Angeles neurosurgeon injured and defrauded a patient by implanting defective medical screws into her because he had a financial stake in the device, she claims in court.
     Yvonne Cobarrubias sued Dr. Ali Mesiwala on Sept. 9 in Federal Court, alleging fraudulent concealment, racketeering, medical negligence, kickback violations and seven other counts. She claims he shared in profits from the implants he recommended to patients without disclosing his financial interest.
     Cobarrubias says Mesiwala implanted the cross links, rods and screws in her back after she underwent laminectomies and bilateral facetectomies in June 2013. She claims that during follow-ups he told her one of the screws had fractured but there was no need to remove it.
     Only later did she learn of Mesiwala’s financial interest in the devices, which are made by (nonparty) KST, and that the surgeries were unnecessary, Cobarrubias says. She claims that Mesiwala recommend other “inappropriate” procedures with KST implants.
     “As a result of Dr. Mesiwala’s treatment falling below the standard of care and his misrepresentations and concealment regarding his financial relationship with the companies that manufactured the hardware he implanted in Ms. Cobarrubias’ spine, Ms. Cobarrubias has endured years of intense, near-constant pain, and a deterioration in her physical condition that has dramatically and detrimentally affected how she lives her life,” the lawsuit states.
     Cobarrubias claims Mesiwala shares in profits from the devices through Physician Owned Distributorships, or PODS.
     “Because of the legal, ethical and patient safety problems involved in PODS, the Office of the Inspector General for the United States recently issued a Special Fraud Alert regarding PODS. The Fraud Alert addresses attributes and practices of PODS that ‘produce substantial fraud and abuse risk and pose dangers to patient safety,'” the complaint states.
     Cobarrubias is represented by Scot Glovsky of Pasadena.

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