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The Indiana Court of Appeals has declined to grant several appeals arising from lawsuits involving a fugitive Merrillville physician.

Mark Weinberger, who operated a sinus clinic in Merrillville, disappeared in September 2004 leaving more than $7 million in debt. The state revoked his license and dissatisfied patients have filed numerous malpractice lawsuits.

Weinberger's patients also are suing the Indiana Department of Insurance to recover some of the money owed.

The patients asked the late Superior Court Judge Robert Pete last year to issue a default judgment declaring the absent doctor liable for damages alleged in their suits.

Lawyers for Weinberger's business interests and the state asked the judge to rule against the patients' request for a default judgment.

The judge refused to grant any of the requests.

All three parties are appealing Pete's refusals. The Appeals Court ruled this week such appeals are premature and dismissed them.

The litigation will continue in Superior Court.

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