Malpractice Trial Wrapping Up For Infamous ‘Nose Doctor’

HAMMOND, Ind. (CBS/WBBM) — Closing arguments are due later this week in a medical malpractice case against a notorious northwest Indiana “nose doctor.”

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the family of Sue Barnes is suing former Merrillville, Ind., ear, nose and throat specialist Mark Weinberger, and Joe Clinkenbeard, a physician assistant from Valparaiso.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

They accuse Weinberger of performing unnecessary sinus surgery on Barnes.

Plaintiff attorney Kenneth Allen contended their alleged failure to diagnose Barnes’ cancer led to her death in 2004 at age 50.

Weinberger is being sued for medical malpractice by more than 350 other former patients and faces an April 27 sentencing hearing for federal criminal healthcare fraud charges to which he pleaded guilty. He was arrested as a fugitive in northern Italy in 1999, and was brought back to Indiana after trying to commit suicide with a box cutter he had hidden in his rectum.

Clinkenbeard, who didn’t know or work with Weinberger, treated Barnes 11 times in 2000 and 2001 for a variety of sinus and bronchial complaints. Weinberger performed serious sinus surgery on her late in 2001, surgery that Allen alleges was unnecessary.

The plaintiff is seeking millions in medical bills, projected lost lifetime earnings, loss of Barnes’ affection and motherly love and millions more in punitive damages.

But the defense says Weinberger acted appropriately.

Weinberger defense attorney James Hough called Chicago oncologist Lawrence Feldman, who testified that by the time Weinberger treated Barnes late in 2001, even if he had detected her cancer, Barnes probably would have died anyway.

The trial concludes Thursday with closing arguments.

The Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire

  • dan

    Box cutter in his rectum? What the ####? How?

    Probably would have died anyway? Who gives this smuck the right to say that!

    And is that even the point? Should a patient unknowingly afflicted with cancer have to suffer the effects of a surgery that was not even necessary?

    After his insurance company exhausts the funds due they should let the jerk kill himself.

  • Razia

    It will be interesting to see if the medical malpractice insurance company covers the claim. When a doctor is being pursued by the feds for criminal activity often times the carrier will deny coverign the clain because they were engaged in illegal activity. (see ). I feel for patients that had to be involved with a doctor who had these kinds of issues. Fortunatly most doctors care about there patients.


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    […] Weinberger was accused of performing unnecessary sinus surgery on Barnes. Allen contended their alle… […]

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