The Mississippi Court of Appeals has ruled that the state's medical licensing board can discipline a radiologist for making false lung disease diagnoses, according to an Associated Press report.
Chief Judge Joseph L. Lee reversed a lower court verdict that Dr. Ray Harron had been unfairly treated by Mississippi's Board of Licensure, paving the way for the board to bar Harron from renewing his medical license, the Associated Press said.
Harron was employed by a Mississippi firm, Netherland & Mason, which assessed potential plaintiffs for claims that their lungs were damaged by exposure to asbestos or silica. At a federal hearing in Texas in 2005, Harron admitted that he allowed medically untrained employees to produce form letters of diagnoses and stamp his name on them, according to the Associated Press. Two years later, Mississippi's licensure board barred Harron from ever renewing his lapsed Mississippi medical license.
Harron appealed when the board reported his actions to a national data bank, and he refused to pay $5,000 in fines. A Hinds County Chancery Court judge overturned the verdict in 2009. But in 2012, the Mississippi licensure board tried again to bar Harron, ordering him to pay $10,000, the Associated Press said.
On September 16, the appeals court reversed the Chancery Court decision and ruled for the licensure board.