Doctor requests delay in lawsuit proceedings
A local doctor who is in the process of suing Aiken Regional Medical Centers (ARMC) has asked for her lawsuit to be put on hold until the hospital's internal disciplinary proceedings are completed.Board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Margo Hein-Muniz filed a civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Aiken accusing Aiken Regional, its administrators and the owners of a second ob-gyn clinic of, among other things, trying to have her privileges to practice at the hospital revoked for the gain of other doctors with whom she competed.In its reply to her accusations, ARMC said that the suit should be dismissed as the internal review was not yet completed, as well as denying any claims of wrongdoing. "This case arises from a hospital's professional review activities and a recommendation for professional review action concerning a physician's clinical privileges at the hospital," Hein-Muniz's motion reads. "A stay of this case until the action at issue has been completed will allow the administrative record to be fully developed, will promote judicial economy, eliminate confusion and unnecessary expense to the parties, and avoid litigation over issues that may become moot."The suit, filed in April under seal, names Aiken Regional; its parent company Universal Health Services Inc.; Aiken Obstetrics & Gynecology Associates (AOGA); current hospital CEO Carlos Milanes; former CEO K.D. Justyn; AOGA Drs. Oletha Minto, James Boehner and Robert Boone; and two members of Aiken Regional's Medical Staff Executive Committee Drs. Jonathan Anderson and Thomas Paxton.As well as the alleged conspiracy, Hein-Muniz claims she was reported to a government body for malpractice despite her offering of evidence that exonerates her, she said in the document. Four specific events were queried by ARMC, the only specifically referenced was the February 2010 death of a fetus after its mother was admitted in distress. ARMC alleged Hein-Muniz did not act well in the emergent situation, delaying a cesarean section for two hours. The child was stillborn, a fact Hein-Muniz claims she could not have helped and quotes the findings of a medical examiner. If her request is granted, the suit could be delayed for months until the internal review is completed. Hein-Muniz is the founder of the Magnolia Medical Center practice in Aiken.Contact Mike Gellatly at email@example.com.