There is an interesting case involving the team doctor to the San Diego Chargers, Dr. David Chao. Kathleen Adams, a former patient, was awarded $2.2 million by an arbitration panel due to Chao botched hip surgery in 2007 in which he lacerated her femoral artery, vein and nerve. What is most interesting is that Chao, 46, has a long history of malpractice despite his high-profile position with the Chargers.
As the article below attests, Chao “has been sued 20 times since 1998 by patients alleging malpractice, personal injury, negligence or fraud.” He had to settle with Tom Fagan, who alleged that Chao’s negligence in a knee surgery led to having his right leg amputated n 2007.
Worse yet, federal agents searched Chao’s office and alleged he had written 108 prescriptions with himself listed as the patient. That record makes the Chargers 9-7 enviable in comparison to the record of its doctor.
Chao was also the doctor for cyclist Floyd Landis and wrestler Rey Mysterio as well as the USA rugby team and Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment. His website states:
Dr. Chao, an internationally known sports medicine expert, has been practicing orthopedic surgery in San Diego, California for the past 15 years at OASIS. He is the head team physician for the San Diego Chargers, where he specializes in orthopedic sports injuries. High profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB trust him, and so can you. When a sports related injury requires expert medical attention, Dr. Chao has the experience and expertise you need in a physician.
It is astonishing that he has secured so many high-profile clients with this record. Lawyers, including myself, have long objected that malpractice among doctors is committed by a relatively small percentage of doctors who drive up insurance rates and cause continuing harm. Indeed, many of us have been critical of the AMA for failing to adequately police its own ranks.
Chao seems to have led a charmed life as a celebrity doctor and less than a charmed life as an actual physician.
Source: Union Tribune