Yale New Haven physician falsely accused of lying to hide surgical mistake tries to rebuild reputation

Two years after Ricardo Quarrie, MD, a cardiothoracic fellow at Yale New Haven (Conn.) Hospital, was accused of lying to a patient to hide a surgical mistake, the lawyer who accused the physician recanted, leaving Dr. Quarrie to recover his name, CNN reports.

Seven things to know:

1. Dr. Quarrie assisted in a 2015 surgery at Yale in which Deborah Craven had surgery to remove part of her eighth rib. Dr. Quarrie was on a two-year training fellowship at Yale at the time.

The hospital admitted a mistake was made during Ms. Craven's surgery. In a lawsuit, Ms. Craven's claims the wrong rib was removed, and she had to have a second same-day surgery to remove the correct rib.

2. Ms. Craven's lawsuit also accused Dr. Quarrie of lying to her about the reason for the second surgery to conceal the mistake — a claim later found to be false.

3. In a statement obtained by CNN, Ms. Craven's attorney Joel Faxon said Dr. Quarrie did not lie to his client.

"The statements attributed to Dr. Quarrie were made by another healthcare practitioner at the hospital, or his designee," Mr. Faxon wrote. "I hope this letter clarifies any misunderstandings."

When Dr. Quarrie was accused of covering up the mistake, Mr. Faxon told a television station that Dr. Quarrie had told his client "lies" and was "just plain deceitful."

Mr. Faxon said he believed those statements to be true when he said them in March 2016. "However, information uncovered in the course of the litigation's discovery phase demonstrates inaccuracies in those statements," he said.

4. Ms. Craven accused a physician's assistant and a different physician at Yale of lying to her and said she did not talk to Dr. Quarrie about her surgery.

Mr. Faxon said he couldn't comment on why he thought Dr. Quarrie was responsible for the alleged cover-up despite his client saying she did not talk to the physician.

5. Several media outlets covered Mr. Faxon's original remarks accusing Dr. Quarrie of lying to his patient. Although two years have passed, those stories come up on the first page of a Google search of Dr. Quarrie's name.

"Employers told me I was very qualified for positions, but patients Google their doctors, and they didn't feel like they could refer patients to me," the cardiothoracic surgeon told CNN.

6. But 36-year-old Dr. Quarrie says Mr. Faxon's statement is a first step toward reclaiming his name. Dr. Quarrie is not filing a lawsuit against Mr. Faxon since it would take too long. He said he promised not to file a lawsuit as a condition of getting the statement from Faxon.

Dr. Quarrie said he's paying an online reputation company nearly $900 a month to help him reclaim his name.

7. CNN was unable to reach Ms. Craven, who settled her case with Yale. A hospital spokesperson declined CNN's request for comment.

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