The doctor in the article below testified on behalf ofthe plaintiff in a medical malpractice action against a VA Hospital.It sounds like there were some discrepancies in his deposition testimony regarding his experience as a heart surgeon.Clearly stuff of cross-examination, but the feds did not stop there: they indicted him for it.I am not sure who prompted the indictment, because it appears the charges are actually for defrauding the plaintiff's attorney of expert witness fees.Even if that is the case, the chilling effect of indicting doctors for false testimony in a civil trial far outweighs any benefit from charging them criminally.
"Alex Zakharia, 68, a Miami-Dade heart surgeon for more than 30 years, is facing criminal charges in Detroit for perjury and fraud.
The doctor was indicted by a federal grand jury, which alleged that he exaggerated his qualifications about his experience doing open-heart surgery while giving a deposition for the plaintiff in a Michigan malpractice case, in which the federal government was the defense.
Zakharia told The Miami Herald on Monday that the defense lawyers didn't understand him, he didn't exaggerate and the issue of his experience wasn't even material to the central subject in the case, which he said involved botching the presurgery tests of a patient."
Read the full article in the Miami Herald.