Shamed cardiologist's suit against med center transferred

A $60 million fraud lawsuit filed by Dr. Mark Midei against Towson, MD-based St. Joseph Medical Center has been transferred to Baltimore County after Circuit Judge Evelyn Omega Cannon determined neither the center nor its parent company does business in the city of Baltimore itself and no unnecessary procedures occurred there. The ruling came despite the protests of Midei's lawyer, whom Cannon ultimately tossed out of the courtroom, the Baltimore Sun reports.

"I will call the sheriff if you don't shut up," she told Midei's attorney, Stephen Snyder, after he interrupted her during her ruling. After he continued to speak, she ordered him to "step out."  Snyder said he intends to file a complaint with the Judicial Disabilities Commission, as well as a motion for reconsideration of her ruling.

"She didn't understand the allegations in our case," Snyder explained. He added that Midei was injured in Baltimore, where the media published accounts of the accusations against him. These accusations had become known after St. Joseph began sending warning letters to patients. However, as the Sun notes, Cannon rejected this argument, because the allegations "might have been published" elsewhere, including on the Internet, thus opening the case up to the world and giving Baltimore no special status.

The current dispute stems from allegations Midei implanted up to 585 stents that may have been medically unnecessary while working at St. Joseph. Some patients were told they had severely clogged arteries that would require treatment with a stent; in fact, many patients' blockages weren't as serious as they were led to believe. The medical center dismissed Midei in May 2009, at which point Abbott Labs hired him as a sales consultant. However, Abbott said it has ended its relationship with Midei.

- get more from the Sun