Alleged “Spine Crime Scheme Victims” File Suit
Did a group of surgical centers and physicians fake performing spinal surgeries to defraud their patients out of settlement money?
Thirty-five plaintiffs have filed a mass tort against several Florida-based surgical centers and physicians alleging “medical malpractice, fraud, misrepresentations, deceptions, and RICO [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations] violations.”
In the complaint, the plaintiffs are called the “Spine Crime Scheme Victims.” According to the complaint, the plaintiffs were all purportedly injured in accidents such as motor vehicle accidents and/or slip and fall accidents. After their accidents, the plaintiffs then allegedly sought medical treatment.
The following individuals are named defendants: orthopedic spine surgeon Merrill W. Reuter, M.D.; chiropractor Brian D. Bauer, D.O.; chiropractor Craig Bauer, D.C.; and podiatrist Mark J. Metzger, D.P.M.
The named defendants also include the following businesses: Beth Israel Outpatient Surgical Center, LLC d/b/a Broward Outpatient Surgical Center; Broward Outpatient Medical Center, LLC; Palm Coast Anesthesia Group, LLC; Premier Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Group, LLC; Central Spine and Orthopedics Centers, LLC d/b/a Intraoperative Monitoring; Two and Two, LLC; Complete Rehab and Medical Center of Plantation, Inc.; Kendall Spine and Orthopedics, LLC; Medassist Surgical, LLC; Prestige Orthopedics, LLC; Orthopedic and Spine Center of South Florida, LLC; Universal Mediquip, Inc.; Broward Outpatient Urgent Care, LLC; Center for Neurosurgical Excellence, LLC; Complete Rehab and Medical Centers of Pompano, Inc.; Complete Rehab and Medical Centers of West Palm Beach, Inc.; Hollywood Rehab and Medical Center, LLC; and Advanced Orthopaedics.
The plaintiffs allege that the defendants engaged in a “scheme to defraud and harm their patients.” Supposedly, the scheme involved inflated prices and improper billing. Additionally, the purported scheme involved fraudulent surgical care. The claimed scheme also included the defendants submitting “unlawful bills for their fraudulent medical treatment.”
The complaint claims that “it was represented to all of the plaintiffs that a medically necessary surgery would be performed to stop or at least reduce plaintiffs’ ongoing pain.” The complaint alleges that this did not happen and instead the defendants “worked together to fake the performance of the intended surgical procedure for the sole purpose of collecting monies from the plaintiffs’ personal injury settlements.” In support of the allegations, and included in the complaint, are claims that a physician and radiologist could not find any evidence of postsurgical changes on at least one of the patients.
As of the date of this article, the defendants have not yet filed a response.