By Dave AndruskoIt is a cliché beyond cliché to say that abortionist Steven Brigham–he of 40,000 abortions performed over his lengthy career–is perpetually in legal hot water. And so he is, yet again.
I did not know, until today, that on August 5, Judge J. Frederick Motz granted a South Carolina woman a “$6.5 million judgment against Brigham, [Vikram H.] Kaji and the other defendants,” according to reporters Mary Jo Layton and Richard Newman.
In her successful lawsuit, the woman said that “In 2012 she underwent a failed non-surgical abortion at an American Women’s Services-affiliated clinic in Frederick, Md., resulting in the birth of a child more than 10 weeks premature, with hearing loss, developmental delays, heart defects and other problems.”
Or that Englewood Women’s Services “filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors after a federal judge in Maryland awarded $6.5 million to a former patient in a malpractice case,” according to reporter Anthony G. Attrino.
Englewood Women’s Services is one of 14 in a chain of abortion clinics that extends to Maryland and Virginia.
At this point, as is always the case with Brigham, the story gets mind-numbingly complicated. As NRL News Today has previously reported, various legal and administrative bodies have challenged Brigham’s claim that–having lost his New Jersey license–he followed orders to give up his interest in a chain of abortion clinics. Brigham insists he signed those interests over to Kaji who, supposedly, became “medical director.”
Kaji is 80-years-old.
Yesterday the attorney general of New Jersey charged that Brigham is “illegally exerting control over women’s clinics in Toms River and several [six] other locations,” Layton and Newman reported.
“We are arguing that the transfer of ownership was a sham and that through the management services agreement, Brigham is still exerting control over the practice that ought to be exercised by an owner,’’ said Paul Loriquet, a spokesman for the AG’s office.
Loriquet told the reporters that Brigham remains on the “revoked physicians list” and owes the state more than a half-million dollars in fines and other costs.
Joseph M. Gorrell, an attorney representing Brigham before the state Board of Medical Examiners, said Wednesday the physician has appealed the revocation and oral arguments have not yet been scheduled.
So why did Brigham lose his New Jersey license (only one of many licenses he has lost) in 2014?
Brigham, who has been in and out of legal trouble for 25+ years, evaded state law by beginning late-term abortions in New Jersey and then completing them in Maryland. One woman almost died.
This bi-state evasion came about because Brigham’s Voorhees, New Jersey abortion clinic was not licensed or equipped to perform late-term abortions. “In addition,” as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Marie McCullough wrote, “New Jersey requires that such risky surgeries be performed by an obstetrician-gynecologist, and Brigham, a general practitioner, was not credentialed to do them.”
When Kaji testified under oath before a board panel in May 2015, he denied being the owner. Quoting from the state complaint Layton and Newman wrote
Kaji said Brigham continued to fulfill the obligations as owner in all clinic locations in New Jersey and beyond, state documents show. Kaji “expressly testified that ‘there is no other person around, [Brigham’s] the only one who runs the show’
In fact, Kaji during testimony said of the ownership transfer: “It was just a technical paper transaction so the business could go on.’’
When last we reported on Brigham, the Virginia Department of Health had temporarily suspended the license of the Virginia Health Group, a tony abortion clinic in Fairfax, Virginia just outside of Washington, D.C.
The Washington Post’s Jenna Portnoy reported that in a two-day inspection
Inspectors observed dirty equipment, expired medication in unlocked cabinets, lax storage of medical records and a failure of staff to sterilize and maintain medical equipment and follow hand-washing protocols, according to a 52-page report.
In one case, a patient had to be rushed to a local emergency room for prolonged bleeding after sutures were not available at the clinic, the report says. In another, a nurse used a plunger to unstop a toilet and then held a patient’s hand.
“The license remains suspended,’’ said Maribeth Brewster, a spokeswoman for Virginia regulators.