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Doctor who misdiagnosed epilepsy cases surrenders license

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

A Metro Detroit epilepsy doctor found to be negligent in two civil cases surrendered his medical license Wednesday to Michigan authorities and has been ordered to never practice medicine again, according to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Dr. Yasser Awaad

Yasser M. Awaad, who practiced at Oakwood and Beaumont hospitals, was found negligent in complaints that he misdiagnosed and engaged in mistreatment of young patients.

The surrender of his medical license is permanent and his license "shall not be renewed, reinstated, reissued or reactivated" according to the state of Michigan.

Awaad also must pay a $5,000 fine.

There are more than 250 cases pending against Awaad, who is accused of mistreating and misdiagnosing patients who had epilepsy or seizure disorders based on electroencephalograms that were not performed or improperly interpreted, according to state officials. The complaints cover 1997 to 2007.

A 2018 complaint was filed with the Michigan Board of Medicine against Awaad for violations of the state's public health code. He has not practiced medicine since 2007, according to state officials.

Last June, a Wayne County jury awarded more than $3 million to a former patient of Awaad who said she was misdiagnosed with epilepsy.

In one complaint against Awaad, he is accused of allegedly abandoning a 10-year-old patient who needed ongoing monitoring and care. Awaad allegedly left the country and was "intending" not to return without telling the boy's parents he was doing so, according to a 2018 State of Michigan complaint.

Brian McKeen, managing partner of McKeen & Associates, which represents the victims, said Wednesday, "Yasser Awaad betrayed the trust his patients and their families placed in him."

McKeen added: "To satisfy his lust for money, he preyed upon hundreds of innocent children by falsely claiming that they had epilepsy when he knew that they did not. He abused these children and their families and subjected them to years of unnecessary emotional distress and harmful medications. Knowing that his actions are indefensible he has cowered and chosen to surrender his license rather than face the sanctions he so justly deserves."