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Attorney Robert Vaage's Clients to Receive $8.5 Million in UCLA Surgery Lawsuit

The Law Offices of Robert Vaage is proud to announce that Attorney Vaage has successfully secured $8.5 million for two of his clients in a lawsuit against UCLA. Late last month, University of California regents agreed to pay the sum following a serious conflict of interest that resulted in medical consequences for the two plaintiffs.

As the LA Times reports, the lawsuit named Dr. Jeffrey Wang, UCLA, and Medtronic—the world's biggest medical device company—as defendants. It alleges that Wang, formerly a UCLA surgeon, failed to inform his two patients that he had received money from Medtronic to use unapproved, "off-label" medical devices and methods during their spinal surgeries. Jerome Lew, 52, and Ralph Weiss, 61, both claim to suffer continued and debilitating medical symptoms due to Wang's treatment.

Speaking to the press, Attorney Vaage reiterated that UCLA (which is part of the UC network of universities) also bore some responsibility. UCLA was allegedly aware of Wang's dealings with Medtronic, but turned a blind eye to them because he "was bringing a lot of business into the university from the number of procedures to the amount of clinical studies he was doing."

"Off-Label" Dealings

In both Mr. Lew and Mr. Weiss' surgeries, Wang implanted a controversial product a manner that was not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, a method that is considered "off-label" treatment. Off-label treatment is legal, but only when doctors believe that it is the optimal way to treat a patient.

Mr. Lew and Mr. Weiss' suit alleges that they only reason why they were subjected to off-label treatment was because Wang had received considerable money from Medtronic to use their products on patients. "I chose UCLA and Dr. Wang for my spine surgery based upon their sterling reputations. I was astonished and offended when I found out about the conflicts that were never disclosed to me," Mr. Weiss said in a statement.

Wang, UCLA, and Medtronic all maintain that there was no wrongdoing and that Wang was not paid by Medtronic to act in any specific manner. However, records show that Wang has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by Medtronic since 2009 and received over a million from other device companies in 2014 and 2015 alone. The federal government estimates that medical device industry payments to U.S. doctors amount to roughly $6.5 billion a year.

Mr. Lew will receive $4.2 million from the UC regents and Mr. Ralph Weiss will receive $4.25. We congratulate Attorney Vaage for this major victory on behalf of his clients and know that it stands as just the latest example of the exemplary work our firm is capable of.

If you or a loved one has been harmed due to the actions or irresponsibility of a medical professional, the Law Offices of Robert Vaage is ready to hear from you. Our award-winning San Diego personal injury attorney has recovered millions of dollars for injury victims, including those that have been harmed due to medical malpractice. Our firm is ready to hear your story and, if necessary, aggressively explore every avenue towards recovering the relief you deserve.

Don't hesitate to start exploring your options with proven counsel by your side. Use our online form to request a free case evaluation today.