Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Blog

Maryland Hospital Employed an Unlicensed Man Impersonating a Physician Who Delivered Over 500 Babies

Posted by Briggs Bedigian | Nov 02, 2017 | 0 Comments

Plaintiffs Monique Russell and Jasmine Riggins filed a medical malpractice suit against Dimensions Health Corporation. The hospital was found to have employed an OB-GYN that had used false credentials to pose as a licensed physician that conducted many deliveries of newborns and C-section procedures. Both plaintiffs underwent sudden and unexpected cesarean section procedures under the care of Oluwafemi Charles Igberase, the fraudulent doctor. 

It is estimated that Igberase has seen over 1,000 patients over the course of his employment and he recently pled guilty to criminal charges associated with inappropriate use of a social security number to gain licensure in Maryland. Dimensions is accused of demonstrating negligence in hiring, supervision, and selection practices. The process that was conducted of credentialing, qualifying, and monitoring Mr. Igbarase, was stated to be insufficient according to proper standards and led to patient exposure to unsafe treatments.

Mr. Igberase is believed to never have actually attended or been a graduate of any known or accredited medical school. In 1998, he passed an examination administered by the Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates that confirms the knowledge of physicians in the U.S. who are from other countries. He used an alias of Charles John Nosa Akoda. In 2000, he was ousted from a New Jersey residency program due to a discrepancy between his name used and the social security number provided. 

The federal government did not approve a request for his enrollment into Medicare in 2012 after his identification was deemed inaccurate. He received his license to practice in Maryland in 2011 under License Number D73049 and furthered his fraud by renewing the license until it expired in September 2016.

The claim is likely to develop into a class action lawsuit (Russell et.al v. Dimensions Health Corp.), as it originated in a state court and has since been transferred to a federal venue. The claim could potentially involve hundreds of those patients treated, examined or operated on by the defendant. Igberase's employment with the hospital has long since been terminated. 

According to court documents, Igberase's record indicated that he conducted a comparatively high volume of emergency C-section operations, many of which are believed to have been medically unnecessary. Damages listed in the claim include pain, anguish, embarrassment and emotionally-based injuries. In the meanwhile, the Dimensions Healthcare System is now a part of the larger University of Maryland's Health System.

Igberase was found guilty and handed a modest prison sentence of six months and three years of probation. The civil claim also cites that over his four years of employment he violated critical privacy rights when he intervened in “private affairs of the plaintiffs that involved private areas of their bodies”, without any proper authority. Allegations of battery and negligent entrustment have also been included in the action. Some of the basis for the battery claim is based on his actions including the placement of his hands into patient's bodies.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm's litigation practice.  Briggs' legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 

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