Negligent credentialing claim puts reputations at risk

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It was apparently a ‘claims made’ policy – if any – that Abraham had in March 2004 when he performed the disputed surgery on Stalker.  If so, that coverage would presumably have terminated no later that July 2005, when his medical license was revoked.  Abraham is still named as a defendant in Stalker’s lawsuit but he has been representing himself, which also suggests that Stalker’s claim is not covered by insurance.  That, and his subsequent bankruptcy filing means that Samaritan Hospital is now effectively the only defendant.

And because insurance policies will not cover intentional acts, the hospital also might not have any insurance coverage for Stalker’s claim. The carrier may well decide that repeatedly granting Abraham privileges despite all the evidence that he was not fit to practice medicine was not an accident but was deliberate.  If so, any money paid out in Stalker’s claim would have to come directly from Samaritan Hospital.

Reputations at risk

Stalker’s lawsuit has the potential to seriously impact the reputation of a medical provider that for the past 12 years has fought dozens of malpractice lawsuits with virtually no publicity.  It also could reveal where the line now lies between, on one hand, the obligation of the press to report matters of public interest, and on the other, the temptation to stay silent to protect a significant source of advertising revenue.

In Abraham’s case, this silence continued even as Capital Region newspapers reported on his numerous other problems:  the revocation of his medical license in 2005 on 34 counts of misconduct, including gross incompetence, having sex with a vulnerable 25-year-old patient in a staff room at St. Peter’s Hospital and later having forcible sex with her at her apartment;  his conviction for insurance fraud related to a fire that destroyed a nightclub building he owned in Colonie;  a state Department of Labor claim against him for $100,000 in wages wrongly withheld from people he employed at a medical staffing agency;  and his 2011 bankruptcy filing.

These stories were published between 2005 and November 2011.  But never mentioned were the four malpractice lawsuits naming him and Samaritan Hospital, even after one of them ended in 2004 with a $1.6 million settlement for the death of a woman during childbirth.


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UPDATE: On July 30, 2012, Stalker's lawsuit settled on the first day of trial.  By agreement between the parties the terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

 

During the time he had privileges at Samaritan Hospital, Abraham was fired by nearby St. Mary's Hospital for misconduct. His lawsuit over his termination also was not reported by the media. Read the story HERE


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