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Trials Begin For Munster Cardiologist Accused Of Medical Negligence

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A northwest Indiana cardiologist accused by hundreds of patients of implanting unnecessary heart devices is beginning what could be the first of numerous trials.

Dr. Arvind Gandhi is facing roughly 300 lawsuits alleging he performed procedures that were not needed. Raymond Kammer is among those suing Gandhi for medical negligence. Three years ago, Kammer publicly accused Gandhi of convincing him he needed to have a cardiac defibrillator implanted. He was 25-years-old at the time.

"He put the fear of God into me that if I didn't have the implantation done, that I'd run the risk of dying," Kammer said.

In court Tuesday, Kammer's attorney told the jury the evidence will show that Gandhi fabricated medical documents to justify the procedure, writing, "Ray had surgery because he had coronary artery disease." The attorney said that information is false, pointing out that a medical review panel has also concluded that Dr. Gandhi "acted negligently."

Gandhi's attorney, however, described the 25-year-old Kammer as "dangerously obese with a history of high blood pressure" and "feet so swollen" he couldn't get his shoes on. Gandhi's attorney maintains "getting the device was the safest thing for him."

Both attorneys promised a list of medical experts to support their cases. Kammer's attorney is seeking damages of $3 million.

The trial is expected to last at least three weeks.

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