A notable Florida neurologist has announced his resignation from his practice amidst serious allegations of fraud and medical malpractice.
According to NBC News, Dr. Sean Orr announced this morning that he will be taking a “leave of absence” from his practice at the Brain & Spine Center in Panama City. He states that the negative attention he has received regarding multiple scandals has made it impossible for him to practice medicine, and that he and his partners “have mutually decided and agreed that my time will be better spent dedicated to dealing with the legal issues in front of me.”
This disgraceful resignation is a massive change for the doctor who at one time was an acknowledged leader in his field. Dr. Orr once held the position of Head of Neurology at Jacksonville Florida’s Baptist Medical Center and was the team doctor for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL. That was before his legal troubles began.
The first issue occurred in 2011 when Orr’s license was suspended for a year after he was accused of having an affair with a married patient. Only three months after that, an administrator at Baptist filed a whistleblower lawsuit claiming that Dr. Orr and the hospital had fraudulently billed Medicare and other federal programs for unnecessary services. Dr. Orr paid $150,000 to the Department of Justice to settle this lawsuit. While these infractions are undoubtedly severe, though, perhaps what is most egregious are the claims that Dr. Orr purposefully misdiagnosed patients with multiple sclerosis and other disorders so that he could benefit from costly treatments.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an incurable neurological condition which often leads to severe disability and paralysis. Dr. Orr is now accused of fraudulently diagnosing a number of patients with MS and subjecting them to painful and very expensive treatments. One such patient is Amber Taylor, a mother of two who sought Dr. Orr’s treatment for migraines and was later diagnosed with MS. Taylor quit her job and borrowed $50,000 to make her home wheelchair-accessible. She was subjected to injections costing $5,000 per month which left her with stinging welts as well as other treatments. Now, doctors tell her she never had MS.
Taylor is not the only patient defrauded by Dr. Orr. Other patients told NBC News reporters that the doctor told them he could diagnose MS by simply looking into their eyes, and that they were subjected to Botox injections, spinal taps, and other costly treatments.
U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida Lee Bentley told reporters, “Dr. Orr was a greedy conman. He was able to convince patients who trusted him that they had MS and other debilitating neurological diseases and disorders. He used that to enrich himself and to also enhance his credibility as a top neurologist in Florida.”
Dr. Orr declined to speak with reporters, but in a written statement said that other doctors have “concluded that I operated within the standard of care.” Meanwhile, the doctor is facing medical malpractice lawsuits from multiple patients and may also face criminal charges.
Patients must be able to trust that their doctors are operating with a reasonable standard of care and will act to improve their health rather than harm them. When this is not the case and medical malpractice, intentional or not, is suspected, an experienced attorney can investigate the situation and ensure justice. If you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice in Florida, please contact us today for a free legal consultation.