A lawsuit filed by two Omaha doctors against Children's Hospital last week is raising red flags at an Ohio hospital. The doctors filed suit against the president of Children's claiming they were subjects of retaliation after questioning the competency of another surgeon.
"Your doctors who have resigned are taking a stand and finally saying, 'No more,' Melissa Morgan of Cincinnati told 6 News. "I wish the doctors here in Ohio would have done the same thing."
Last month, a jury in Ohio ordered Cincinnati Children's Hospital to pay $2 million for injuries to a young man named Jacob Cotter, Morgan's son, in what was described as a botched spinal surgery when he was 11 years old.
6 News says the surgery was done by Dr. Atiq Durrani, who is also facing multiple federal charges. Investigators allege he made "significant profits" for unnecessary surgeries in Ohio.
Morgan told 6 News her son was one of those patients. "The sweet, fun-loving kid we used to know, isn’t there anymore," she says. When he was 11 years old, Morgan says Dr. Durrani told them he needed spinal surgery. Today, at age 22, Cotter needs a morphine pump 24/7 to control the pain.
"He stays at home all day, every day," she says. He will never drive since his spine is fused from the neck down from a surgical procedure since found to have been unnecessary.
One of Dr. Durrani's bosses at Cincinnati Children's hospital was Dr. Richard Azizkhan, president and CEO of Children's Hospital in Omaha. Azizkhan will be named as a defendant to all 528 lawsuits based on the work of Dr. Durrani in Ohio.
"When you have multiple doctors speaking out against a single doctor, there’s certainly something wrong, and we owe it to our children to do better," Morgan said. Ten doctors have resigned from Children's in recent weeks.
In a statement to KFAB News last Friday Children's Hospital said they were standing behind its president, stating that the "claims will be proved to be without merit."