Jury Rules in Favor of Indian American Cardiologist in Medical Malpractice Case
Ray Kammer, the plaintiff, had alleged that Dr. Arvind Gandhi persuaded him to have a cardiac defibrillator implanted in 2007.
A civil case against Indian American cardiologist Dr. Arvind Gandhi and Indiana-based Community Hospital, accusing them of unnecessarily implanting heart devices, was dismissed by a jury on March 8. Gandhi, who retired in 2014, was accused by hundreds of patients for planting heart devices when it was not required.
“We’re pleased with the result. It took a long time but we think the jury made the right decision,” said Edward Hearn, the attorney representing Community Hospital, according to NWI Times.
Ray Kammer, the plaintiff, had alleged that Gandhi had persuaded him to have a cardiac defibrillator implanted in 2007. He sought more than $3 million in damages. He also claimed that Gandhi did not have the proper training to perform the procedure, which was conducted at Community Hospital.
Kammer testified that he suffered great emotional harm because of the device. He said that Gandhi put the “fear of God” when he got hospitalized with heart problems in 2007, and persuaded him that he would die without the device. Kammer, who was 25 years old then, sought a second opinion at that time. The other doctor recommended that he take medication and be reevaluated in 90 days.
“I still had it in the back of my mind that I had the risk of dying,” Kammer testified, and thus underwent the procedure. He had signed a form saying that he was aware that there were other alternative treatments and that the surgery came with risks, including possible complications.
The defense argued that when Kammer came to the hospital he had dangerously high blood pressure, his heart was enlarged, had decreased movement and was performing at 50 per cent of normal functioning. After the implant was inserted, he was discharged from the hospital diagnosed with malignant hypertension, congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, morbid obesity, sleep apnea and primary cardiomyopathy.
Kammer said this entire experience “has changed me as a person.” He said he’s become more passive, both physically and emotionally, and is more reclusive now.
Gandhi argued that it was necessary to put the implant since Kammer had coronary artery disease and a sustained fast heartbeat. Kammer’s attorneys argued Gandhi’s diagnosis was false and he made incorrect readings for Kammer’s heart rhythm and level of heart failure.
“A two-week trial can be a lot for the jury to work through, but they did a great job and clearly understood that the physician and the hospital were not at fault,” Hearn said.