DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – More than 700 people have now filed claims for payment in the case of a Detroit-area doctor who put patients through needless cancer treatments.
Federal Judge Paul Borman got an update Tuesday from the government and a contractor hired to handle claims against Farid Fata, who is serving a 45-year prison sentence after he admitted to giving unnecessary treatments to hundreds of people.
The government has collected $13 million from him, although a whistleblower will get a share. No money has been paid yet.
Anyone who was a Fata patient between 2005 and 2013 can file a claim for out-of-pocket expenses, such as co-payments and deductibles. There also will be money for a portion of funeral expenses.
Ellen Piligian says the toughest part has been collecting old records. She’s seeking $4,000 on behalf of her late father. The deadline for former patients to file was Nov. 14.
Fata in 2015 pleaded guilty to fraud, money laundering and conspiracy after intentionally misdiagnosing and mistreating patients over several years.
Some of Fata’s patients were allegedly exposed to powerful drugs over and over, despite having no cancer. In an indictment, prosecutors said Fata gave one of his patients 155 chemo treatments over two-and-a-half years — even though the patient was cancer-free.
A Harvard medical professor testified that some of Fata’s patients received a “stunning” number of rigorous treatments that weren’t necessary. Many received a drug called Rituximab. It’s typically given eight times for aggressive lymphoma but one patient got it 94 times. In another case, 112 doses were given, when the max was 24.
Fata — a native of Lebanon — owned and operated Michigan Hematology Oncology Centers (MHO) with offices in Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Lapeer, Sterling Heights, Troy and Oak Park.
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