When I was a “Mayo Clinic resident” I had asked
Dr. Sanford J. Finck what had been the cause of my problems and he had told me that my stomach was in the wrong place and
had been punctured accidentally. Anyone can make a mistake, indeed, in my lifetime I've made few myself, including,
many may say, believing the Mayo Clinic's advertising, so I told him I wasn’t going to sue or do anything about it and
we had shaken hands on it. And I kept my word. Subsequently, I learned from the Iranian surgeon who was eventually
able to correct the consequences of the Mayo Clinic's mistake that my stomach was in the normal place and that I had been
misinformed by the Mayo Clinic surgeon Dr. Sanford J Finck. Of course, it may be that the Mayo Clinic surgeon who punctured
my stomach was so incompetent that he really did think it was in the wrong place.
When the bills to repair my
abdomen started arriving it dawned on me that it was unfair that I should have to pay the cost (after insurance) of rectifying
the Mayo Clinic’s mistake. I paid the Mayo Clinic every penny I owed them (after insurance) except for the
element I had to pay (after insurance) the other hospital for correcting the results of the Mayo Clinic’s mistake.
I contacted the Mayo Clinic asking them to forego the balance. I found dealing with the administrative side of the Mayo
Clinic to be an extremely tedious and frustrating process. Variously their record of answering letters and returning
telephone calls was haphazard. Calling them was frustrating in that one seldom spoke to the same person twice which
meant that with each new person one had to start over again.
Eventually the Mayo Clinic agreed to cancel the element
of the expenditure I had incurred as a consequence of their error and sent me a letter together with a release (to see the
Mayo Clinic’s letter, signed by Roseanna D. Arey, Patient Administrative Liaison, and the release, please click the
link below*). However, when the release arrived it included terms and conditions that had neither been discussed nor
agreed. These included, inter-alia, a muzzle clause and a requirement that my wife sign it as well as me and that the signatures
be notarized. I remonstrated with the Mayo Clinic and they sent me another release but they only deleted the requirement
that my wife sign it.
So I told the Mayo Clinic that as they had shifted the goal posts on me I also felt entitled
to move them. I said that since inserting drain tubes must be a common procedure following surgery, I would sign the
release if they would give me an assurance that in future they would take precautions to ensure that what had happened to
me wouldn’t happen to another poor wretch. I noted that when inserting
the second set of drain tubes the Mayo Clinic had guided them in by X-Ray so such precautions are feasible. From
then on, despite repeated attempts to get a response, I never heard another word from the Mayo Clinic.
a suit for medical malpractice has to be brought within two years. No doubt, the Florida medical industry, during a vociferous campaign to frighten the Florida public
and legislature about losing doctors due to the high cost of malpractice insurance, spent and contributed more than did the
trial attorneys. Then, wouldn’t you know, after the statute of limitations for bringing a medical malpractice
suit had run out, I started getting demands for payment of the balance. Then the Mayo Clinic started hawking the account
around various debt collection agencies. I would write to the agencies with photographs and details of what the Mayo
Clinic had done to me. They would express their sympathy and drop the matter. Indeed, one expressed outrage at
the way the Mayo Clinic had treated me.
Then the Mayo Clinic happened upon a collection agency: Accelerated Receivables
Management, Inc., (ARM) of Jacksonville, Florida, who, apparently, are made of sterner stuff than were
the others. Perhaps ARM wanted to ingratiate themselves with the Mayo Clinic or just needed the element of the commission
or fee they'd collect from the Mayo Clinic more than the others did? Anyway, they sued me.