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Last month, lawyers for former patients of Dr. John Anderson King and their families  settled  70 medical malpractice claims with the Hospital Corporation of America, the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chain, and Putnam General Hospital, which employed King from November 2002 to June 2003.  This month, lawyers settled 11 more medical malpractice lawsuits with the company that employed King to perform surgery.  

King served as an osteopathic physician on Putnam General’s staff between November 2002 and June 2003. During those seven months, King’s actions generated 124 different medical malpractice suits.  Are you kidding me?  At what point should the hospital have clued into the fact that this doctor was a serial screw up?  Insurers for doctors and hospitals simply do not settle medical malpractice claims unless they have merit.

In order to avoid being treated by one of the worst doctors in your state, do some research.  Get references from friends and trial lawyers in your area.  The lawyers know who are the best and worst doctors.  Also, check your state’s board of medicine website.  These sites often will tell you whether a doctor has been disciplined and will tell you how many malpractice claims have been filed against and paid on behalf of the doctor.  Most doctors are fabulously talented professionals.  You need to avoid the bottom of the barrel.

In November, King filed for bankruptcy in Birmingham, Ala., claiming only $500 in assets.  He has filed an application to become a Tennessee real-estate appraiser.  Just keep him away from sharp instruments!

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