CROWN POINT | Nearly 300 patients of former Merrillville sinus doctor Mark Weinberger are collectively set to receive a $55 million settlement for malpractice claims, attorneys in the case announced Monday.
The settlement was approved Monday in Lake Superior Court, according to a release from Merrillville law firm, Theodoros & Rooth, which represents 282 of Weinberger's former patients.
The settlement ends more than eight years of legal wranglings in which the former patients claimed Weinberger performed unnecessary or botched surgeries leading to pain and suffering.
The attorneys announced the settlement in conjunction with Indiana Commissioner of Insurance Stephen Robertson. The commissioner oversees the Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund, from which a portion of the settlement will be funded.
"On behalf of our clients, I'd like to express our appreciation to Commissioner Robertson for his willingness to take the necessary and unprecedented steps to compensate Weinberger's many victims," attorney Barry Rooth said in a prepared statement. "It's been a long road for them."
The civil settlement follows Weinberger’s admission last year to 22 counts of health care fraud for billing the insurance companies of clients for medical procedures that were not performed.
Weinberger was sentenced to seven years in federal prison in October.
The former Merrillville nose doctor disappeared in 2004 — during a family trip to Europe — amid allegations by patients and remained at-large until December 2009, when Italian police caught him in a mountainside encampment.