A cosmetic surgeon formerly based in Rancho Mirage and has been on the run for four months after admitting to duping insurance companies and running a cosmetic surgery scam, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. According to a news article, the 72-year-old man, Dr. David M. Morrow, is still at large and was sentenced in absentia. The judge who sentenced him noted that the doctor was extremely greedy and that he showed a callous disregard for his patients’ safety and well-being.
He added that even though Morrow was a doctor who owned a successful practice and had amassed significant property and wealth, but still hatched a scheme to bilk insurance companies by duping them to pay for unnecessary cosmetic surgery. And, to add to that, after admitting his guilt, the doctor became a fugitive from justice simply to avoid the punishment that was coming to him. The loss from Morrow’s scheme was a little over $44 million.
So, what exactly did Morrow do? He put in millions of dollars in claims for procedures, which he certified were medically necessary. However, these procedures were not. They were cosmetic procedures from nose jobs to tummy tucks and breast augmentations. In some cases, patients even underwent procedures they didn’t even want in exchange for Morrow’s word that he would perform the procedures they actually wanted if they underwent the other surgeries. In one case, evidence showed Morrow had even paid a patient for undergoing some of the procedures that were billed to insurance.
It is not clear if anyone suffered adverse health issues as a result of Morrow’s fraudulent scheme. Surgeries, whether they are cosmetic or otherwise, are not to be taken lightly. Any number of things could go wrong during a surgical procedure. Patients could suffer from complications or could even die from infections after the surgery. Post-operative care is extremely critical after any type of surgery. When surgeries are not performed properly, patients may be able to get more surgery, causing them to undergo more pain and additional expenses.
When a doctor or hospital acts with disregard for a patient’s health and safety, he or she can be held financially responsible for the damages they cause in addition to facing criminal penalties. Injured victims of medical negligence can seek compensation for damages they have sustained including cost of medical care and rehabilitation and pain and suffering. In addition to going through physical pain, patients in many cases also go through emotional trauma as they attempt to recover from medical procedures and try to get their lives back on track.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for the damages you have sustained. An experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer will be able to remain on your side, fight for your rights and help you secure maximum compensation for your losses. Contact us for a free and comprehensive consultation and case evaluation.