Last month, a class action lawsuit filed in federal court alleged that at least ten women were treated by a man who falsified documentation in order to practice medicine, treat patients, and deliver babies at Prince George’s Hospital Center in Maryland. According to the lawsuit, Oluwafemi Charles Igberase – who went by Dr. Charles J. Akoda – faked his identity and practiced as a gynecologist at the hospital between 2008 to 2016 as both a resident and a doctor.
Hospital staff initially caught onto “Dr. Akoda” in 2014 after he was suspected of practicing without a license. Following a criminal investigation by federal authorities, Igberase pled guilty to using false documentation, including fraudulent medical diplomas and social security information, to obtain a Maryland medical license. Igberase had previously come under scrutiny multiple times for using false information and practicing medicine unlawfully – including one 2000 incident in which he was dismissed from a New Jersey residency program for providing incorrect information about his identity, and another in 2012 when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) discovered an inaccurate social security number on his Medicare enrollment application.
Were you or a loved one treated by Dr. Charles J. Akoda, AKA Oluwafemi Charles Igberase, at Prince George’s County Hospital Center? If so, you may have grounds to pursue a lawsuit against the hospital for negligently hiring an unlicensed medical provider, and seek compensation for your damages. Discuss your case during a free consultation when you call (410) 567-0800.
HOLDING HOSPITALS LIABLE FOR NEGLIGENT HIRING / RETENTION
The federal class action lawsuit, as well as other lawsuits filed by patients treated by Dr. Akoda, allege victims suffered preventable harm and damages as a result of Prince George’s Hospital Center negligently hiring Dr. Akoda, allowing him to practice Obstetrics and Gynecology without a license, and providing him medical privileges to treat patients and oversee delivery.
According to victims, the hospital – which acknowledged it employed the man who claimed to be Dr. Akoda – could have protected patients from preventable harm had they taken reasonable steps to evaluate his documentation and review his background. A thorough search, which victim’s claim was an obligation of the hospital, could have turned up a number of red flags, including:
- Dr. Akoda’s use of fraudulent social security numbers
- False medical diplomas, transcripts, and letters of recommendation
- Fraudulent immigration documents and birth certificates
- A documented history of fraud, including incidents involving his dismissal from a New Jersey residency program and fraudulent Medicare enrollment application
One victim named in the federal lawsuit had a child delivered by Dr. Akoda in 2012 following 16 hours of labor. In addition to the pain and suffering she and her child endured at the time of birth, the woman also claims the experience has caused tremendous emotional injuries, destroyed her trust in hospitals and health care providers, and scared her from ever having children again.
DO YOU HAVE A CASE?
Dr. Akoda is believed to have treated numerous patients during his eight years at Prince George’s Hospital Center in Maryland. If you were one of the patients who was treated by Dr. Akoda – including pregnant mothers and families whose childbirth was overseen or handled by the fraudulent doctor – you may be entitled to compensation. Several women have already come forward to pursue lawsuits against Prince George’s Hospital Center for its failures to ensure medical staff were properly licensed and trained, and to ensure the safety of patients.
Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt, LLC is a proven medical malpractice and birth injury law firm that has earned national recognition for representing victims of substandard medical care and medical negligence. Over the years, our legal team has leveraged more than 100 years of combined experience to hold health care providers accountable for their failures, and has recovered more than half a billion inverdicts and settlements for clients since 2012 – including the largest medical malpractice verdict in Maryland history ($55 million against Johns Hopkins Hospital).
If you have questions about a possible case, your rights, and how our legal team may be able to help you, do not hesitate to call (410) 567-0800 for a FREE and confidential consultation. Our compassionate and experienced legal team is standing by to help you get started.