North American Spine

Since: Sep 10

Kansas City, MO

#1 Sep 29, 2010
Take a look at this article. This "physician" is the founder and head of a Dallas based practice.

DAYTON - When John Fouts was considering laser spine surgery to correct his back pain, he attended one of Dr. Lawrence Rothstein's group sales meetings.

Rothstein told his guests that the operation, using the technique he invented, was nearly no-risk, and that no patient had ever been left in worse condition after the surgery, according to a lawsuit Fouts filed April 15.

"In reality, defendant Rothstein has had multiple malpractice claims against him as a result of this procedure where patients had catastrophic injuries," according to Fouts' complaint.

Fouts of Palmyra, Ind., had the surgery in April 2009. He is now one of 19 Rothstein patients with medical malpractice cases pending in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

One was to go trial Tuesday, July 6, and others have trial dates, but all have been stayed following Rothstein's bankruptcy filing last week.

Rothstein has settled at least three cases and lost two jury trials, including a $5 million judgment for Sally Clawson.

During a 2008 deposition, Rothstein acknowledged that his consent forms stated that he was the "only physician who performs this procedure" and no other doctor is qualified to render an opinion on it, said attorney Jay Kelley, who represented Claw-son at trial.

Thirteen of the open cases were filed by attorneys with Gibson & O'Keefe. Gregory C. Gibson declined to comment on any pending litigation.

In his bankruptcy petition, filed last week, Roth-stein lists two other cases, one in Hamilton County and one in Louisville.

In the Hamilton County case, Rothstein lost a $1.372 million judgment after a jury found he performed a surgical procedure that permanently maimed a patient.

"I don't think the guy should be practicing," said Dayton attorney Richard Schulte, immediate past president the Ohio Association for Justice, formerly the Ohio Academy of Trial Attorneys.

Schulte, who declined to represent several Roth-stein patients because of collectibility concerns, said that both 19 open cases and a $5 million judgment would be "extremely rare. I would be deeply concerned he is going to hurt more people."

Sallie Debolt, general counsel for the State Medical Board of Ohio, said she could not comment on whether the board had received or was investigating any complaints against Rothstein. That information is closed unless the board finds against the doctor, she said.

The laser surgery, called AccuraScope, is being marketed across the country. Rothstein, who is chief medical officer for North American Spine, which has offices in Dallas and Dayton, advertises in airline magazines and on the Internet.

Patients have come to Dayton to have the surgery from across the country and beyond. Plaintiffs who have filed against Rothstein come from Florida, North Carolina, Arizona and Saskatchewan.

Rothstein, 48, graduated from the Ohio State University College of Medicine. His website says he is board certified in anesthesia and pain medicine.

In 2001, he was arrested in a suburb of Columbus and charged with cocaine possession. He went into drug rehabilitation and his license was suspended from September 2001 until April 1, 2002. He remained on probation with the medical board until April 11, 2007, just weeks after Clawson's second surgery.

Rothstein started the practice in 2006, originally located in the Riverview Health Institute at 1 Elizabeth Place, the former site of Franciscan Medical Center, according to a February 2009 Dayton Business Journal article. Rothstein now practices in Centerville.

Once known as Dayton Laser Spine, it became known as North American Spine, with financial headquarters in Dallas. The practice treated 400 people, using AccuraScope surgery, in 2008, which the DBJ article said "equates to about $11.8 million in revenue from that pr

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