DETROIT (WWJ) – An attorney has filed civil lawsuits on behalf of nearly a dozen patients treated by an Oakland County cancer specialist charged with intentionally misdiagnosing and mistreating patients for money.
Berkley attorney Donna McKenzie filed the suits in Oakland County Circuit court Wednesday on behalf of 11 patients given unnecessary chemotherapy by Dr. Farid Fata.
Her clients include the family of one man who McKenzie says died of an illness believed to be connected to the unnecessary chemo.
“Some treated with him briefly; some treated with him over a period of many years,” McKenzie told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Sandra McNeil. “Some were originally misdiagnosed right from the start, and some were found during the treatment to be cancer free, yet chemotherapy still continued.”
The Oakland County doctor is charged with committing fraud to enrich himself through health insurance programs. Prosecutors say Fata intentionally misdiagnosed patients and ordered unnecessary treatments to enrich himself through insurance programs in a scheme that dates back to Aug. 2007.
According to the government, some of Fata’s patients were exposed to powerful drugs over and over, despite having no cancer. In a first superseding indictment, prosecutors say Fata gave one of his patients 155 chemo treatments over two-and-a-half years – even though the patient was cancer-free. Other patients, they say, were pumped with unnecessary blood therapy and iron treatments.
“You know, chemotherapy is a highly toxic medication; and so, as these people were going through their treatments, they got severely ill,” McKenzie said. “Some resulted in multiple hospitalizations, and they still were given chemotherapy even when they were at their most sickest state.”
McKenzie is also suing Crittendon Hospital, where Fata practiced.
Fata, who remains jailed on charges of healthcare fraud, had denied any wrongdoing.
He claims he doesn’t have enough money to pay his attorney.