Indiana Dr. and onetime fugitive slapped with $13 million Medical Malpractice judgment in first of 100s of pending cases

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A former Indiana doctor and onetime fugitive who's awaiting sentencing for health care fraud has been ordered to pay $13 million in the first of more than 350 malpractice lawsuits against him.

A jury last week rendered the judgment against Mark Weinberger, the former ear, nose and throat specialist, in a case brought by the family of Phyllis Barnes, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Weinberger was accused of failing to diagnose the cancer that claimed the life of Barnes in 2004 at age 50. He was also accused of performing unnecessary sinus surgery on Barnes, causing her pain and suffering.

Weinberger still faces more than 350 other suits. The next one is set to go to trial in May.

Weinberger was charged in 2006 with fraudulently billing health insurance companies for up to $400,000 worth of surgeries he never performed.

He generated national media attention two years earlier when he fled the country when the FBI started to investigate him.

He was finally caught in December 2009 in northern Italy, living in a tent at the base of a mountain.

In October, he admitted to 22 counts of health-care fraud and is scheduled to be sentenced April 27.

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