Indiana medical malpractice lawyers as well as most of the state, the country, and possibly most of the world, are all too aware of the very bad acts performed by Indiana surgeon Dr. Mark Weinberger — he’s had hundreds of medical malpractice (professional negligence) claims filed against him. People have died as a result of his negligence according to any number of wrongful death suits that have been filed by loved ones throughout Indiana.
However, maybe the bigger noteriety of Indiana villian Dr. Mark Weinberger is how he didn’t stick around to face the music but instead ran away. Ran away from his family, his friends, his practice, his home.
A January 2011 article in Vanity Fair entitled, “The Runaway Doctor,” written by Buzz Bissinger, chronicles Weinberger’s disappearance in 2004 and his ultimate capture in the Italian Alps many years later. His capture was a highlight of TV’s America’s Most Wanted.
“The Nose Doctor” of Merrillville, Indiana Goes to Trial – Ken Allen Represents the Plaintiffs: Victorious Verdict After Six Days
This week, the wrongful death medical misdiagnosis trial for the loved ones of Weinberger patient Phyllis Barnes began. Represented by noted trial lawyer Kenneth J. Allen, the plaintiffs alleged that The Nose Doctor’s faulty diagnosis failed to catch her cancer in time and because of Dr. Weinberger’s failure to diagnose Phyllis Barnes’ cancer, she died.
Seems that Mrs. Barnes saw one of Weinberger’s billboards and made an appointment with him for help with some sinus and throat problems. No mention was made, or investigation had, regarding the cancer that killed her. Dr. Weinberger did, however, perform surgeries (yes, more than one) on Mrs. Barnes — all these operations being unnecessary to her and vital to his pocketbook.
Mrs. Barnes’ wrongful death suit sought punitive damages under Indiana medical malpractice law. After a six day trial, the jury awarded $3 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages against Dr. Mark Weinberger.
The Need for Strong Law in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
The details of evildoer Dr. Mark Weinberger aren’t necessary here. They’re there in the Vanity Fair article as well as numerous other resources on the web. However, the example of this one bad man exemplifies the power that health care professionals have over their clientele. They are in positions of power and trust — we all rely upon them to be acting in our best interests, with knowledge and skill and integrity.
When physicians fail to live up to these standards, then justice must be available to those they have harmed. For many personal injury attorneys, the impact of tort reform across the country ties the hands of justice in many medical malpractice situations. Perhaps Dr. Mark Weinberger is an anomoly. The personal injury bar might disagree with that assessment: Dr. Weinberger may be notorious, and his running away worthy of a TV Movie of the Week — but he’s far from the only marketing-happy doctor who has sacrificed patient care for profits.
“You Got What You Deserve”
As Ken Allen said during his closing arguments in the Nose Doctor Wrongful Death trial this week, this verdict should send a message not only to Dr. Weinberger but to anyone that might be following in his footsteps. This verdict — $3,000,000 in compensatory damages and $13,000,000 in punitives — should send a message that is a strong, loud warning against this evildoing.
Kenneth J. Allen’s words to The Nose Doctor after the jurors returned with their decision: “You got what you deserve, is what I say to Mark Weinberger.”