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Tucson, Arizona

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Chrissie Cole
Chrissie Cole
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Doctor Surrenders License to Avoid Discipline

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After the state accused him of prescribing controlled substances while his license was suspended, a Delray Beach doctor who was the center of one of the biggest medical malpractice verdicts in Palm Beach County history, has agreed to give up his medical license.

The State Board of Medicine is expected to accept the deal with Dr. Attila Eagleman when they convene on February 2nd in Orlando, Florida.

In February 2004, a Palm Beach County Circuit Court ordered Eagleman and Behesda Memorial Hospital to pay $63 million in damages for causing a baby to be born with severe brain damage in 1997. Eagleman was Jennifer Korzeniowski’s obstetrician and delivered her son. Labor was induced by Eagleman who was concerned the baby was too big for normal delivery.

The baby weighed a normal six pounds at birth and spent almost three weeks in neonatal intensive care after delivery complications caused by forceps. Three months after the verdict, Bethesda settled its part of the case for $20 million. However, the doctor has been in litigation with his own medical practice insurer after paying his part of the settlement. Eagleman only had $250,000 malpractice coverage.

Luke has undergone 14 operations on his brain and spine. He requires round the clock care due to severe brain damage.

According to state medical board records, Eagleman could not attend the trial because he was acting “overly anxious and aggressive” because of steroids he was taking for a medical condition.

Bethesda’s physician advisory committee referred Eagleman to the state’s impaired practitioners program because of his “aberrant and inappropriate” behavior during trial. Eagleman rejected the program’s recommendation that he subject himself to random drug and psychological testing. Instead, Eagleman decided to put his medical license on inactive status, which occurred in 2005.

In November 2006, the state received a complaint that Eagleman had prescribed a controlled substance. In lieu of more discipline, the doctor opted to give up his license.