Former West Virginia Doc Files $10m Suit over Revoked Medical License

April 15, 2008

A former West Virginia physician facing 124 malpractice lawsuits has filed a suit of his own, seeking $10 million from the state Board of Osteopathy.

In the lawsuit, Dr. John A. King, formerly with Putnam General Hospital, said the “tortuous and unconstitutional actions” of the board are to blame for him losing the ability to practice medicine in at least six states.

Calls to the board were not immediately returned Sunday.

King claims in the lawsuit that the West Virginia board illegally damaged his reputation by revoking his license, which he says led to suspensions or revocations in other states.

Records show King has been licensed in more than a dozen states but has surrendered, lost his license or had his license suspended in at least six. He let his license expire in two other states.

The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia in Wheeling, asks the federal court to order the Board of Osteopathy to restore his West Virginia license and pay him $10 million in damages, along with attorney fees.

King is represented by Wheeling lawyer John Bremer, who did not immediately return a call seeking comment Sunday.

King still faces the 124 malpractice cases pending in Putnam County Circuit Court, although lawyers in 70 of the cases have negotiated undisclosed settlements with several of his co-defendants.

They include Hospital Corporation of America and the former subsidiary through which it owned the former Putnam General Hospital, where King began working in November 2002.

The hospital suspended his privileges the following May, after a review of his work. HCA sold the 65-bed hospital to Charleston Area Medical Center in 2006.

The lawsuits allege the 49-year-old osteopath botched surgeries or otherwise harmed patients during that six-month stint.

Now living in Alabama, King filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 last year, meaning his debts could be eliminated. He listed a 1993 Volvo worth $500 and some pending claims as his sole assets, and more than $125,000 in debts.


Information from: The Charleston Gazette,

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