Suspended New Jersey Doc Sues Neurosurgeons

Suspended New Jersey Doc Sues Neurosurgeons

court gavel on top of a law bookAn anesthesiologist whose license was suspended by the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners is suing a group of neurosurgeons for defamation, conspiracy, and interference with his medical practice, National Pain Report has learned.

In a lawsuit to be filed in Bergen County Superior Court, Dr. Richard Kaul alleges he was defamed and libeled by Drs. Gregory J. Przybylski, Peter W. Carmel, Robert F. Heary, Frank M. Moore, and William Mitchell.  Carmel is a former president of the American Medical Association and Przybylski is a former president of the North American Spine Society.

The lawsuit alleges the neurosurgeons told patients and other doctors that Kaul did not have the credentials or qualifications to perform spinal procedures and encouraged them to file complaints with the state medical board.

Kaul also claims he was targeted as part of a conspiracy by neurosurgeons to prevent interventional pain physicians from performing spinal surgeries.

“Defendants sought to ensure that neurosurgeons, like themselves, could monopolize the provision of certain spine procedures throughout New Jersey, and sought to exclude Dr. Kaul and other physicians – despite their skill, experience and training – from sharing in this lucrative enterprise,” the lawsuit states.

Kaul’s lawsuit is the latest chapter in a long running dispute over his competence and professional background.

Kaul is a board certified anesthesiologist, but did not receive formal training in spinal surgeries during his residency. His lawsuit states that he was a surgical intern at two New York hospitals, acquired surgical experience working at several pain clinics, and in 2003 opened his own clinic, the New Jersey Spine & Rehabilitation Center in Pompton Lakes.

Unlike traditional spinal surgeries which involve large incisions, Kaul specialized in minimally invasive procedures that avoid cutting unnecessarily into muscles and tissue near the spine, reducing the risk of complications. Kaul says he has done nearly 800 of the procedures with “predominantly good to very good outcomes.”

That experience wasn’t enough for the Board of Medical Examiners, which voted 11 to 1 last year to suspend Kaul’s license for his treatment of six patients, including one woman who developed an infection and needed corrective surgery.  The board said Kaul “put the public at grave risk” when he misrepresented himself as a spinal surgeon and performed surgeries without hospital privileges or evidence that the procedures were appropriate.

“Given the lack of any formal surgical training or expertise, (Kaul) repeatedly subjected multiple patients to significant complex spinal surgery in a one-room surgery center with no hospital privileges or access to manage life-threatening complications that might occur,” the board said in its order.

It was the second time Kaul’s license to practice medicine has been suspended. The board suspended him for six months in 2003 for failing to disclose that he was convicted of negligent manslaughter by a London jury in 2001. A woman he sedated during a tooth extraction went into cardiac arrest and died. According to witnesses, Kaul was talking on his cell phone when the patient had a heart attack.

As a result of that conviction, Kaul’s license to practice medicine in England was revoked and he moved to New Jersey.

Authored by: Pat Anson, Editor