Woman Suing Georgia Hospital in Fraud Scandal

A Georgia woman is suing Savannah-based Memorial Health Center for appointing a psychiatrist who committed Medicaid fraud and is now implicated in a sex-for-drugs scandal. Amie Tatum, who is suing with the state of Georgia as plaintiff, claimed that Memorial Health Inc. made William Ellien, a fully licensed psychiatrist, medical director of the hospital’s Clark Center for Behavioral Medicine in 2008.

Tatum’s suit is not the first Memorial Health has faced–in September 2012, an exotic dancer claimed that Ellien overprescribed her with Xanax and then sexually assaulted her. She sued the company. A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration official also issued a report that mentions “a number of witnesses” who claimed to have had sexual relations with Ellien to obtain narcotics and other prescription drugs, all during his tenure at Memorial.

In May of this year, Ellien received a 30 month prison sentence for prescribing unlawful addictive drugs to patients and has since given up his medical license. Tatum’s suit claims that Ellien, in addition to “solicit[ing] an improper and illegal sexual relationship” with her, also caused her to acquire a dependency on drugs. Tatum claimed the rehabilitative treatment she required “drain[ed] Medicaid funds,” and created extra costs for Georgia’s Medicaid program.

Improper treatment of patients is a serious error, since medical professionals are charged to treat their clients correctly. If a doctor fails to provide proper treatment, as in Ellien’s case, he or she is responsible for any harm that may occur due to carelessness. An experienced legal professional can help an individual who has suffered harm due to improper treatment gain compensation for the misconduct.

Most cases are not this clear cut. Even so, in a case as straightforward as this one, having the help of an attorney can make a dramatic difference in a case’s outcome. Any medical malpractice lawsuit will be overrun with complications, so it’s important to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side to help ensure that your case is filed correctly, adequate evidence is gathered, and the maximum settlement or award is collected.

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