A New York medical malpractice arbitrator has issued a $140 million settlement award to 255 New York medical malpractice victims of former New York orthopedist Spyros Panos. After the arbitrator’s award is approved by the court, the awards to individual New York medical malpractice plaintiffs will range from $15,500 to $3.8 million.
Although there is apparently three layers of insurance coverage that may used to pay the arbitration award, it is likely that the total amount of insurance available is insufficient to pay the awards in full, including the $1.4 million awarded for a woman who suffered a pulmonary embolism and died.
One of the New York medical malpractice lawyers handling multiple medical malpractice claims against Panos stated in response to the arbitration settlement award, “It’s a shame that so many others who must have been involved in these schemes or looked the other way when he was doing it are avoiding any responsibility, civil or criminal, for their wrongdoing.”
An attorney associated with a New York medical malpractice law firm that is handling 150 medical malpractice claims against Panos stated, “The long and short of it is that he [Panos] engaged in a 10-year pattern of fraud and abuse, faking surgeries for people who didn’t need them or faking them for people who really needed surgery.”
Panos has already served one prison term and reportedly faces current criminal charges: he pleaded guilty to health care fraud in the U.S. District Court in New York, served two and a half years of a four-and-a-half-year sentence, and was subsequently charged in 2018 with wire fraud, health care fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
A federal complaint filed before Panos began serving his criminal sentence alleged that he and a family member set up a company and bank accounts in Hong Kong to perform peer reviews for workers’ compensation claims that can only be performed by a licensed physician (Panos had surrendered his medical license). The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that Panos banked nearly $240,000 before he entered prison. Within months of his release, Panos allegedly submitted credentialing information to peer review companies using the name of a licensed orthopedist, and deposited more than $636,500 in the company’s accounts.
According to reports, Panos routinely performed 15 to 20 surgeries a day. The New York medical malpractice claimants involved with the global arbitration settlement award were divided into three categories: those who did not need surgery but whom Panos operated on anyway; those who had a genuine medical issue but were not adequately treated so Panos could do a second or third surgery on them; and, those who were treated but on whom Panos just malpracticed because he was in a rush or just lacked the skill.
If you or a loved one were injured as a result of medical negligence in New York or elsewhere in the United States, you should consult with a New York medical malpractice lawyer or a medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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