Insurer argues it shouldn't foot damages for spine surgeon who fled the US


The Medical Protective Company, which provides malpractice insurance, is trying to back out of paying damages for a spine surgeon who fled the U.S. amid multiple lawsuits.

Atiq Durrani, MD, allegedly performed unnecessary spine procedures on hundreds of patients in the U.S. and fled to Pakistan in 2013 after he was charged.

One lawsuit related to those procedures resulted in a jury verdict in favor of the patients and nearly $1 million in damages, according to a complaint filed March 1 in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas.

In 2008, Dr. Durrani submitted applications to Medical Protective for malpractice insurance, the complaint said. The insurer issued a policy to Durrani in 2009, and that was renewed annually until 2013.

By fleeing the U.S., Dr. Durrani breached his obligation to cooperate with Medical Protective, the complaint said. The company also argued it isn't liable for the damages because Dr. Durrani engaged in criminal activity that led to the liabilities at issue.

"Under the circumstances, Dr. Durrani and his company alone are responsible for the issue," the complaint says. "Medical Protective is not."

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