Judge pushes Excela, cardiologists to settle 2011 stent lawsuits

A county judge ordered Greensburg, Pa.-based Excela Health and two formerly affiliated cardiologists to take the needed steps to resolve 35 outstanding lawsuits, most filed by patients in 2011, who claim they received unnecessary stents, according to the Tribune-Review.

During a July 15 conference with lawyers for patients, the hospital and physicians, Common Pleas Judge Rita Hathaway ordered lawyers to engage in mediation and settlement talks. Trials will be scheduled next year for the pending cases. 

An attorney for Excela said the system has exhausted its primary insurance to settle stent cases, and could tap a secondary insurance fund to resolve the outstanding lawsuits.

In early 2011, Excela sent letters to 192 patients disclosing they may have received unnecessary stents from cardiologists Ehab Morcos, MD, and George Bou Samra, MD, who had privileges at Excela's Westmoreland Regional Hospital in Greensburg.

About 117 lawsuits from patients were filed. Most have been settled, though details of those resolutions have remained private, according to the Tribune-Review.

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