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Settlement Reached In St. Joseph Stent Case

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) -- It was a scandal that ruined a doctor's career, forced a hospital to sell and left hundreds suing over stent procedures they may not have needed.

Alex DeMetrick explains there is now a settlement in this high-profile case.

These suits against St. Joseph Medical Center and Dr. Mark Midei have spent years reaching this point.

It takes trust to end up here: trust the doctor's diagnosis is right, and what is about to happen is needed.

Hundreds placed that trust in Mark Midei, the St. Joseph doctor who performed hundreds of stent procedures between 2007 and 2009 to open up clogged heart arteries. But an investigation found many of those were not needed.

"Dr. Midei said it was 90 percent, and after they reviewed everything it was 10 percent," said Vicki Mars, former patient.

Vicky Mars filed suit. She wasn't the only one to bring a lawsuit against Midei, St Joseph Medical Center and the hospital's former owner, Catholic Health Initiatives.

"The fraud's the same in every one. There was a lie perpetrated against the people. They need a stent and they find out later they didn't need a stent," said Jay Miller, plaintiffs' lawyer.

In court, it was announced Miller's 21 clients had reached a settlement against the three defendants. Midei is accused of performing the procedures for profit, but he's never admitted wrongdoing.

"What I did was what I would want for myself, for anybody in my family. My mother, my father. They were treated appropriately and with the highest regard for their well-being," Midei said in 2011.

In a 2011 extended interview, Midei exclusively talked to WJZ's media partner, The Baltimore Sun."The human toll has been incalculable," Midei said. "I've been near suicidal at times. My whole identity was stripped from me."Despite denials, Midei lost his job in 2009 and his medical license in 2011. And the prospective onslaught of lawsuits forced Catholic Health Initiatives to sell to the University of Maryland.Because of a gag order, dollar amounts in the settlement were not revealed. And lawyers could not talk, although attorney Jay Miller tells WJZ his clients are pleased with the outcome.

And while money reached in the settlement is a secret from the public, it could well set the bar for the scores of lawsuits that are still pending.

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