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North Carolina doctor, researcher settles 11 malpractice claims

When a doctor deviates from the standard of care in North Carolina, he or she puts the health and lives of patients at risk. Failing to monitor a patient after surgery, surgical errors, medication errors and failing to properly diagnose a patient are all serious acts of negligence that could cause patients to suffer further injury or death. But misrepresenting one's professional and educational experiences or quality of research could also be considered a form of medical malpractice.

Last month, a doctor and cancer researcher at Duke University quit after it was discovered that he had put inaccurate information on his résumé and that the research he had been doing was seriously flawed. This week, it was reported that several malpractice claims that were filed against the doctor for his professional misconduct have been settled. He now works for a chain of treatment centers based out of South Carolina.

According to the North Carolina Medical Board, the former Duke researcher has agreed to settle 11 claims that were filed against him. However, information regarding the claims has remained limited. The board's website indicates that all 11 claims were settled for at least $75,000 each. The malpractice claims were filed for incidents dating as far back as November 2007.

Prior to resigning from Duke University last month, the doctor was placed on administrative leave in July when the inaccuracies on his résumé were first discovered. At that time, three clinical trials he had been conducting were also stopped. More than 100 breast and lung cancer patients were participating in the studies, but officials do not believe that those individuals were at risk of being harmed.

Because the settlements remain confidential, it is unclear how many claims were filed by the doctor's patients and how many claims were filed by those who participated in his research. The medical board is reviewing the settled claims. So far the board believes that the majority of the claims stem from the doctor's résumé providing misleading information instead of incidents of poor medical care.

Source: News & Observer, "Doctor agrees to settle malpractice claims," Jay Price, Jan. 4, 2012

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