Former cardiologist Mark Midei took the stand Tuesday during the most recent civil suit against him and the previous owners of St. Joseph's Medical Center, in which the plaintiff is accusing him of performing unnecessary stent procedures.
Much of his brief testimony centered on the types of evaluations Midei used when he considered Glenn Weinberg, a Baltimore businessman, for the procedures. Stents are mesh tubes that hold blocked arteries open to improve blood flow.
Weinberg contends he lost at least $50 million because Midei wrongly led him to believe that he had severe coronary artery disease, leading him to curtail his business dealings.
Weinberg is a partner at the Cordish Cos., which has developed such projects as Maryland Live, the state's largest casino. His case is expected to be one of the biggest against Midei and the former hospital owners in terms of damages sought.
Midei was on the stand briefly Tuesday afternoon and is expected to testify again Wednesday morning.
Midei and Thomas Monahan, the attorney for the hospital's former owners, said Weinberg's stents were necessary, given his medical history, angiogram images and the opinions of other experts, and that the potential benefits of the procedure outweighed the risks.
Monahan also said in his opening statement that the hospital did not have authority over medical decisions for Midei's patients.
Weinberg's lawyers said that Midei's medical findings were flawed and that other cardiologists found no severe blockages that required stents.
Weinberg, like other former Midei patients now suing him, has claimed ongoing medical complications, emotional toll and economic losses from unnecessary stents.
Allegations against Midei, which surfaced in 2009, led to a federal investigation and a loss of staff and revenue at St. Joseph's. The hospital eventually was sold to the University of Maryland Medical System.
Midei lost his Maryland medical license in 2011. He has denied any wrongdoing.
In May, lawyers for Midei and St. Joseph's former owners settled the bulk of the claims by nearly 250 of Midei's former patients; roughly 45 civil suits remain.
The Weinberg case is expected to last for weeks.
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