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Juror says Midei panel split over damages

Justice SystemCordish Cos.St. Joseph Medical Center

Though a Baltimore County jury agreed that former cardiologist Mark Midei placed stents in Glenn Weinberg's heart unnecessarily, one juror said panel members did not all agree that the procedure caused the prominent businessman to miss out on a stake in Maryland's largest casino.

"It was hard to prove that the main factor of him missing out on Maryland Live was the placement of the stents," said Eric D. Goodman, who was juror No. 7 during the six-week trial. Weinberg was an executive with the Cordish Cos., which took on the Anne Arundel County casino project while he was recuperating.

The case ended in mistrial this week after jurors failed to agree on Weinberg's damages.

Weinberg was seeking $50 million he said he lost when he scaled back his career after Midei led him to believe that he needed stents to treat severe coronary artery disease. Midei performed the procedure in 2006.

Midei said in an email that he has no doubt that he saved the life of his patient.

"Experts and I believe that Mr. Weinberg is alive as a result of my actions, not in spite of them," Midei said.

At trial, attorneys for Midei and the former owner of St. Joseph Medical Center argued that Weinberg would have retired around the time of the surgery whether he'd gotten the stents or not, and probably wouldn't have played a part in Maryland Live casino.

Midei said Thursday that the mistrial shows Weinberg's attorneys failed to prove their case.

"When you hear the details of his [Weinberg's] supposed victory, it is difficult to distinguish it from defeat," he said.

The malpractice trial came in two phases: one in which jurors found that both Midei and former St. Joseph owner Catholic Health Initiatives were liable, and another in which the sides debated damages.

Goodman was an alternate during the first phase.

The initial verdict was the first in a lawsuit against Midei, who has faced civil complaints from hundreds of former patients.

Baltimore County Circuit Judge Nancy Purpura later granted a motion vacating the verdict against Midei — a move Weinberg's lawyer said simplified the proceeding.

The motion leaves the Towson hospital's former owner as the only defendant liable for damages, but legal analysts say it does not clear Midei of responsibility.

Midei said he does not understand why Weinberg's team agreed to the motion.

"I gave him nothing in return," Midei said. "Perhaps he was having trouble sleeping. I grant him no compensation, no concession, and no settlement."

Robert J. Weltchek, an attorney for Weinberg, said the jury's initial verdict speaks for itself.

"A jury of his peers heard the evidence and found unanimously he is guilty of malpractice," he said. "I don't know how much credibility the man has."

Weltchek would not say Thursday whether his client would attempt to retry the case.

Midei was forced from his job as director of St. Joseph's cardiac catheterization lab amid allegations that he was inserting stents unnecessarily. The Maryland Board of Physicians revoked his medical license in 2011.

In May, nearly 250 plaintiffs settled lawsuits against the doctor, leaving about 45 civil cases outstanding. He has denied wrongdoing; he has not been charged criminally.

jkanderson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/janders5

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Justice SystemCordish Cos.St. Joseph Medical Center
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