Maryland cardiologist sued for excessive, unnecessary stenting

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Patients and their family members are suing John McLean, MD, claiming that the cardiologist needlessly performed cardiac catheterization and stenting over a span of five years, attorneys for the plaintiffs have claimed.

The lawsuit also named the doctor's practice, John R. McLean, MD, & Associates; Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC), where he performed procedures; and the hospital's governing agency, Peninsula Regional Health System, all located in Salisbury, Md.

The two-count lawsuit filed last week in Wicomico County Circuit Court charges negligence of 13 patients, along with representatives of the patients’ estates or their spouses, the Daily Times reported.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages in excess of the jurisdictional limit of $30,000 for each count together with all costs of the legal action, according to the lawsuit.

“The medical records evidence a pattern of negligent behavior,” according to the lawsuit filed last week by E. Dale Adkins III and four other attorneys, representing 24 plaintiffs including patients or their spouses in total. “McLean dramatically overstated findings from cardiac stress tests and diagnostic imaging and, based upon these findings, convinced people to undergo heart surgeries they did not need,” the attorneys wrote.

In March 2007, PRMC accused the 20-year cardiologist of conducting 25 unnecessary heart stent procedures, stating that alternative and less costly methods to treat blood clots could have been used, according to the Daily Times.

“McLean had misread and misinterpreted his or her imaging studies and other diagnostic data,” the lawsuit alleges that the hospital said.

In December 2006, McLean voluntarily forfeited his cath lab credentials, the Daily Times said. At the time, he cited a recently diagnosed vision problem as a factor that could have led to the controversy.

However, the Daily Times reported that while McLean has said that he is now retired, his medical license is in an ‘active status’ with an expiration date of Sept. 30, 2009, according to the Maryland Board of Physicians.

A federal investigation into McLean is currently being conducted in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services.