Midei, St. Joseph trial wraps up

Attorneys for a former patient of Dr. Mark Midei said Monday that he was careless, rushing into giving a patient stents, while the cardiologist's lawyers said he was providing necessary care.

Closings arguments wrapped up a nearly monthlong medical malpractice trial in Baltimore County. Glenn Weinberg, a prominent Baltimore businessman, says he lost at least $50 million after scaling back his career because Midei falsely led him to believe he had serious coronary artery disease requiring stents, which are placed into blocked arteries to improve blood flow.

The case is the latest of several hundred filed by former patients against Midei and his previous employer, St. Joseph Medical Center.

Weinberg's attorney, Robert J. Weltchek, said Midei failed to complete basic tests before ordering the procedure. He said multiple expert witnesses testified that Midei's analysis of Weinberg's case was flawed.

"When all the mistakes go in one direction, that's suspicious," he said.

However, an attorney for Midei, Michael Sloneker, said that both sides agreed Weinberg suffered from two major blockages, which contributed to an earlier silent heart attack, and that the stents were necessary and would help prevent another.

"Dr. Midei's decision must be viewed based on what information was available at the time, not in retrospect," Sloneker said. He said the differences of opinion were the result of "a visual estimate," and that different views of blockages show their severity differently. He said Weinberg needed the procedure, since the disease progressed despite changes he had made to his lifestyle.

Sloneker said Midei chose not to complete certain medical tests because he considered them unnecessary and they would not have changed Weinberg's medical treatment.

The suit also names St. Joseph Medical Center, from which Midei was forced to resign. The University of Maryland Medical System later bought St. Joseph from Catholic Health Initiatives. Under the sale, Catholic Health is responsible for any liabilities from the lawsuits.

Weinberg's attorneys said the hospital shares responsibility because Midei was an employee. However, attorneys for the hospital say that administrators never had any oversight of the medical care of Midei's patients.

They contend that Midei was an employee of MidAtlantic Cardiovascular Associates when he was administering patient care and that he was a hospital employee only when he made administrative decisions as the director of the hospital's catherization lab.



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