Breakthroughs in Plastic Surgery

Plastic Surgeon with Drug Problem is Focus of Lawsuit

Plastic Surgeon with Drug Problem is Focus of Lawsuit

A plastic surgeon in Greenwich, CT, who died of a heroin overdose is at the center of a lawsuit against the hospital that granted him surgical privileges.

A hospital in Greenwich, Connecticut has been hit with a new lawsuit over the mishandling of a drug-addicted doctor. This is the ninth case brought by a patient seeking damages suffered as a result of treatment by this single plastic surgeon.

Dr. Ian Rubins, who treated breast cancer patients in need of reconstructive surgery, reportedly died of a heroin overdose in 2008 in his drug dealer’s house. The hospital publicly admitted that they were aware of Rubins’ drug problem for more than ten years, but claimed the surgeon had successfully completed several rehabilitation programs.

Newport couple Diane and Scott Buchanan filed the latest lawsuit in January, after claiming the hospital was careless by giving Dr. Rubens hospital privileges despite being aware of his substance abuse problems. The lawsuit states Diane Buchanan suffered serious complications after undergoing three different procedures with Rubins.

“Greenwich Hospital’s conduct was recklessly indifferent to Diane Buchanan’s rights,” the complaint states. “As a result of the carelessness and negligence of Greenwich Hospital, Diane Buchanan suffered severe, painful and permanent injuries.”

In a December 2009 Greenwich Time article, hospital Chief Executive Frank Corvino defended the hospital, saying Rubins was given a clean bill of health each time he went through rehab. However, an investigation by the state Department of Public Health noted that several doctors saw Rubins fall asleep while standing up during a break between two morning surgeries in early April 2006. Witness accounts claimed that Rubins’ eyes were rolling back into his head and his speech was slurred. This was just one of many cases where Rubins appeared to be under the influence and he was reported, though the hospital allowed him to continue operating on patients.

Both parties involved in the lawsuit are scheduled to meet for a hearing before the end of the month.

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