Hospital Exec Masterminds $500 Million Scheme of Bribery & Fake Hardware for Spinal Surgery
Tad Thomas, Esq.
A former hospital executed is accused of a orchestrating a lucrative scheme to bring spine-surgery patients to his hospital and implant cheap screws and hardware in them for an expensive price.
This month, 28 former patients filed lawsuit in Los Angeles against Michael Drobot, former owner of Pacific Hospital in Long Beach, CA, and others, including Community Hospital, Spinal Solutions LLC of Murrieta, Calif., Orthopedic Alliance of Murrieta, Calif., Jack H. Akmakjian, MD, Gurvinder S. Uppal, MD, Khalid Ahmed, MD, and Crowder Machine & Tool Shop of Temecula, Calif. Currently there is a total of 32 lawsuits in Southern California–and
potentially thousands more. Outpatient Surgery Magazine reports of one patient who had complications after lumbar fusion surgery, only to find that the screw was an non-FDA approved knockoff.
Drobot allegedly bribed physicians and others with cash, sports memorabilia, and free air travel to refer workers’ compensation patients to his hospital, where he allegedly used hardware from a local machine shop for their treatment. The counterfeit screws reportedly cost as little as $300 to make, but Drobot charged $12,500 for them. His deceit raked in nearly $500 million. He was indicted earlier this year for bribing a state senator to help cover it up.
Thousands have likely been affected by this scheme. If you or a loved one recently had spinal surgery in Southern California, consider reaching out to an attorney for support. You may want to explore legal options.