HAMILTON, Ohio - An orthopedic surgeon faces more than 20 new lawsuits for allegedly performing unnecessary spinal surgeries.
Attorney Eric Deters already had 18 cases scheduled for trial against Dr. Atiq Durrani. After Wednesday's filings in Butler County, Durrani faces more than 150 lawsuits.
One of Deters' clients, Dana Setters of Trenton, said she sought help from Durrani for neck problems.
"He ended up saying, 'Don't worry, I'll fix you,'" Setters said.
Setters said she had fusion surgery on her neck at West Chester Hospital, but she only felt better for a short time.
"I'm in constant pain 24/7," she said. "I can't drive. I can't play or lift my little girl. I have a hard time doing any duties at home.
"My head falls to the right and I have a hard time getting it back up normal," Setters said. "It's caused pain for everybody.
"I have to have my mother and my mother-in-law and my husband just about do everything that they can to help me with myself and my 2-year-old. I can't take care of her.
"How could somebody come in and be that confident and say, ‘I'll fix you,' and come out like this? It's horrible."
She claims lower back surgery at JourneyLite in Evendale didn't relieve her pain, either.
She said the two surgeries cost a total of $135,000.
Deters said the 20 lawsuits he filed in Butler County involve a common issue.
"The overriding issue is unnecessary spine surgeries," Deters said.
Deters said he hired experts to review Durrani's work.
"They're looking at that radiology film and saying to our clients and these patients, ‘You did not need that surgery based upon these radiology films,' " Deters said.
Deters said these cases also involve fraud.
"You've got a situation where taxpayers even are picking up the tabs for an unnecessary surgery, which rises to the level of fraud. In other words, the doctor is doing these procedures that shouldn't be done and if it's a Medicare/Medicaid situation, you're picking up the payment of the bill just like I am," Deters said.
Durrani's attorney, Michael Lyon, said his client had no problems in 12 years of practice before Deters began suing.
Lyon said his experts reviewed the cases and they claim the surgical procedures were appropriate.
Durrani was arrested Thursday morning. You can read more here: http://www.wcpo.com/dpp/news/local_news/Dr-Atiq-Durrani-Federal-agents-arrest-local-spine-surgeon.