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Doctor Accused Of Misdiagnosis Of MS Responds To Lawsuit

VAIL, Colo. (CBS4)- A doctor has responded to a lawsuit filed by two former patients who claim they were misdiagnosed and treated for years for a disease they didn't have.

The lawsuits were filed on behalf of Brenda Culhane and Mercedes Aragon. They described seeing Dr. Gary M. Weiss in Vail who told each of them separately that they had Multiple Sclerosis.

gary weiss
Gary Weiss (credit: PostIndependent)

The complaints claim that Dr. Weiss had them undergo MRI exams with a company that he owned. He then told them they suffered from MS, a disease described as debilitating with no known cure.

The women claim they were treated for five to seven years and underwent a great deal of emotional trauma during that time. When Weiss sold his practice in Vail, the women each consulted different doctors who told them they did not, in fact, suffer from MS.

In a separate case, the Colorado Medical Board investigated Weiss for allegedly failing to diagnosis a brain lesion. Before the board finished the investigation, the two sides settled and Weiss agreed to never practice medicine in Colorado again.

Weiss released this statement to the allegations, "The news accounts of a number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed against me have created an erroneous impression of my practice and the reason I did not renew my Colorado medical license.

"The media reports also reference my giving up my Colorado medical license around the same time a complaint had been filed against me concerning a patient who had died. That complaint, which was not brought by any of the deceased patient's family members – all of whom were strongly supportive of me and my treatment of their loved one – coincided with a difficult decision I had made to move from Colorado to Florida, where I already spent much of my time in a busy practice. I had been diagnosed with a medical condition of my own that will not allow me to live at high altitude. In fact, my physician has strongly advised me to not even return to Colorado for a brief visit, and I am restricted in the types of airplanes in which I can fly. Rather than contest this complaint, which I knew to be without merit, I chose not to renew my license, since I could not use it anyway. I regret that decision today because of the appearance it caused that I might be conceding the allegations in the complaint. At that the time, though, it seemed insignificant.

"Multiple sclerosis is a very difficult disease to diagnose. Research has found that 'super-early' treatment of MS symptoms can dramatically improve a patient's chances of controlling the disease for many years and may, in fact, prevent symptoms from occurring. For this reason, that is a course I typically recommend and follow. It is without a doubt the right thing to do given the state of our knowledge today."

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