BECKLEY – The defendants in the consolidated lawsuits against Raleigh General Hospital and Dr. Donald Kenneth Glaser have filed a motion opposing the referral to the West Virginia Mass Litigation Panel.
Raleigh General, Glaser, LifePoint Health, LifePoint Hospitals and LifePoint WV Holdings filed the response on Aug. 4, claiming that the lawsuits do not qualify as a mass litigation.
The current action does not qualify because the matters “consist of separate and distinct allegations of the performances of unnecessary cardiac catheterizations, angioplasties and stents by Dr. Glaser and the acquiescence of these procedures by the corporate defendants,” the motion states. “While there are some issues that are similar in approximately 82 cases…these cases do not stem from one tort or one event, but rather stem from many separate instances of alleged malpractice.”
Because the cases have already been consolidated before Judge H.L. Kirkpatrick for discovery purposes, the argument that assigning these cases to the MLP will help streamline the discovery process is moot, as the cases were already consolidated for that purpose, according to the motion.
Kirkpatrick has granted numerous motions to consolidate the more than 80 cases since the lawsuits were first filed last year.
In April, a New York doctor gave a sworn testimony that he witnesses Glaser injure and kill patients by performing the unnecessary cardiac procedures as director of Raleigh General’s cardiac unit.
Dr. Marcus Sodums testified that he worked with Glaser for three years. He left Raleigh General in 2015 and now is a cardiologist in Ithaca, N.Y.
Sodums testified that he was concerned about Glaser in 2010 after he noticed he was mischaracterizing the severity of chest pain experienced by patients, among other things. Sodums also testified that he believed Glaser was falsifying medical charts to perform cardiac catheterizations that were not needed.
In 2008, Raleigh General performed 107 cardiac procedures. In 2009, the hospital performed 350 cardiac procedures, an increase of more than 300 percent.
In 2010, during Glaser's first full year as the director of Raleigh General's interventional cardiology unit, the number of cardiac procedures rose to 1,745. In 2011, the hospital performed approximately 1,700 cardiac procedures and in 2012, performed 2,109 cardiac procedures.
In 2013, Glaser's tenure at Raleigh General ended and he worked in Salt Lake City, Utah, from June 2013 until November 2013 and then moved to Waldorf, Md., where he stayed for approximately one year.
In October 2014, Glaser applied for employment with the Beckley VA Medical Center to work as a cardiologist and when the medical center contacted Beckley General to investigate Glaser's credentials and background, Beckley General did not inform the medical center that Glaser was the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Beckley VA Medical Center offered Glaser an offer of employment in January 2015 and on Feb. 13, 2015, just days after news agencies reported that Glaser was under investigation, Glaser rescinded his acceptance of the offer of employment by the medical center.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuits are represented by C. Benjamin Salango and Brett Preston of Preston & Salango PLLC; Arden J. Curry of Pauley Curry; and Robert V. Berthold Jr. of Berthold Law Firm.
Raleigh General is represented by Don R. Sensabaugh Jr., Amy Rothman Malone and Shereen S. Compton of Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC; and B. Todd Thompson, Lon S. Hays and Brandon M. Howell of Thompson Miller & Simpson PLC.
The LifePoint defendants are represented by Thomas J. Hurney Jr. of Jackson Kelly; and C.J. Gideon and Blake Carter of Gideon, Cooper & Essary PLC.
Glaser is represented by D.C. Offutt Jr. and I. Matthew Mains of Offutt Nord Burchett PLLC.