SAN DIEGO, Aug. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The plaintiffs in two separate cases, Jerome Lew v. Jeffrey C. Wang, M.D., Regents of the University of California, and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive (Los Angeles Superior Court, Central District, Case No. SC 120518) and Ralph Weiss; Deborah Weiss v. Jeffrey C. Wang, M.D., Mark Mikhael, M.D., The Regents of the University of California, and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive (Los Angeles Superior Court, Central District, Case No. SC 113977), claimed that they were injured by former UCLA spine surgeon, Jeffrey Wang, M.D., who failed to inform them of his extensive financial and research ties to the manufacturers of the medical devices he implanted in them.
According to the lawsuits, Mr. Jerome Lew, 52, and Mr. Ralph Weiss, 61, both suffered injuries due to the fraud perpetrated by Dr. Wang and The Regents of the University of California/UCLA. The Regents settled with Mr. Lew for $4.2 million and with Mr. and Mrs. Weiss for $4.25 million. The payouts confirm a troubling trend where the medical device industry uses financial and research incentives to influence the patient treatment decisions by physicians. "In both cases, the nature and extent of the surgeries appeared to be influenced by Dr. Wang's research and financial interests," explained Attorney Robert Vaage, who represented the plaintiffs. "The surgeries were far more extensive than their underlying conditions required. Even the ways the spinal fusion devices were used in these surgeries were contraindicated by their labeling."