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Former Md. Cardiologist Takes Stand In Wrongful Stent Surgery Suit

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Alex DeMetrick 370x278 Alex DeMetrick
Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — His case has gotten national attention. Baltimore cardiologist Dr. Mark Midei is accused of performing unnecessary stent procedures. Midei is facing lawsuits from hundreds of former patients.

Now he finally takes the witness stand in what could be the largest of those suits.

Alex DeMetrick has details.

In the 200 lawsuits already settled out of court, no dollar figures were ever mentioned. But this suit could be different if Dr. Midei loses.

Expanding clogged arteries with stents saves lives. The procedure was the specialty of Dr. Mark Midei–until the lawsuits hit in 2009–when the old St. Joseph Hospital notified a number of Midei’s patients their stents may not have been necessary.

“Dr. Midei said it was 90 percent. And after they reviewed everything, it was 10 percent,” said Vicki Marrs, former patient.

The percentages refer to blockages in blood vessels. The higher the number, the greater the need for a stent. Midei was sued for inflating those numbers, settled 200 cases out of court and has lost his license to practice.

Now he’s on the witness stand fighting a suit in court.

Glenn Weinberg, who is a partner with the company behind the Maryland Live! Casino and other projects, says his stent was unnecessary and has cost him at least $50 million when he cut back his business dealings because he believed he had severe heart disease.

In court, Weinberg’s lawyer questioned Midei’s treatment. Midei defended it, saying: “I’m proud I fixed Mr. Weinberg. I’m there to improve the likelihood he’s going to be alive.”

It’s a defense he’s raised in the past.

“What I did, was what I would want for myself, for anybody in my family. My mother, my father. They were treated appropriately and with the highest regard for their well-being,” Midei said.

Midei has always maintained his innocence. If the jury should find against him, it seems likely Glenn Weinberg’s lawyer will seek millions in damages.

Like earlier suits, the former St. Joseph Hospital is also a co-defendant.

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