When 38-year-old construction worker Curtis Wren allowed neurosurgeon Faisal
Albanna to perform bone fusion surgery in 1998 to correct an injury he
suffered on the job, he had no idea Albanna had been sued for
medical malpractice. It wasn’t until that operation forced Wren to visit the emergency
room, undergo corrective surgery, retire early, and file his own lawsuit
that he learned about those other claims.

“I’ve been doing medical negligence work … for 26 or
27 years, and I’ve never seen as many cases filed against one person,”
Wren’s lawyer told reporters.

In fact, Albanna has been named as defendant in 50 negligence lawsuits and four
wrongful death lawsuits since 1987, according to stltoday.com.

So, asked the lawyer of one patient whose spine surgery left him hunched
over and in permanent pain, “Why do the hospitals let a guy like
this on staff?”

The answer may lie in the $12 million a year gross revenue he generated
for Des Peres Hospital. Not surprisingly, several people have sued Des
Peres’ parent, Tenet Healthcare Corp., for renewing Albanna’s
credentials. Tenet has settled four of those lawsuits.

The state’s Board of Registration for the Healing Arts began investigating
Albanna in the 1990s and then “sanctioned him for ‘unprofessional
conduct’ and ‘repeated negligence’” in 2003, according
to stltoday.com. Albanna appealed, but the state’s Supreme Court
upheld the decision and determined that Wren didn’t even need that
bone fusion surgery that forced him into early retirement.

Ultimately, Albanna settled with the medical board and agreed to four years’
probation and public reprimand “for performing more extensive than
warranted surgeries” on two patients. But, typically, doctors and
insurance companies are very secretive about whether a doctor has been
sued for medical malpractice.

As for Albanna, the 60-year-old reportedly took a leave of absence from
Des Peres Hospital in August 2011, told a court that he is no longer practicing
medicine, and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier this year.

Still, patients and their family continue to file lawsuits – including
one for the
wrongful death of a 23-year-old who died one day after Albanna operated to remove a tube
from the hydrocephalic patient’s brain.

How Can I Find out If My Doctor Has Been Sued Before for Medical Malpractice?

If you believe you were injured as a result of a
surgical error or other mistake,
contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation, or request medical malpractice attorney
Chris Mellino’s free guide to filing a claim in Ohio.