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New development in case of surgeon accused of medical malpractice

Covington residents who missed a recent report from Cincinnati's WCPO will be interested in the latest developments in the case of the spine doctor who performed unnecessary operations. The hospital where he performed a number of medically unneeded spine surgeries has agreed to pay $4.1 million to Medicare and Medicaid.

Dr. Abubakar Atiq Durrani performed lumbar, thoracic and cervical surgeries at West Chester Hospital during a three-year period ending in 2013. Durrani is the focus of a 36-count indictment for healthcare fraud and hundreds of medical malpractice lawsuits.

The 46-year-year-old Durrani fled his Mason, Ohio, home in late 2013 for his native Pakistan, leaving behind his wife and three children.

Prosecutors allege that the doctor performed unneeded surgeries that caused great physical damage to some of his patients. He reportedly badgered people into having the operations by telling them that they were in danger of paralysis without the surgery and even at risk of decapitation in an auto accident if they didn't have the recommended surgical procedure.

He's also accused of ignoring X-rays, ordering inappropriate levels of pain medication for patients and of leaving a guidewire inside a patient. Though he reportedly denied leaving the broken guidewire in the patient, the doctor recommended a follow-up surgery and then removed the wire without informing the patient.

Those who have suffered damages at the hands of a negligent doctor or hospital know the pain that follows is typically both physical and emotional. Part of the healing process for many is the pursuit of justice in medical malpractice litigation.

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