Posted on Dec 03, 2006
Doctor facing malpractice suits in W.Va. fined in Alabama
By JAY REEVES
Associated Press Writer
Last Updated:December 01. 2006 4:48PM
Published: December 01. 2006 4:48PM Print · Email · Discuss
An osteopath facing multiple malpractice lawsuits in West Virginia was fined $2,500 and allowed to continue practicing in Alabama earlier this year even after medical officials determined he committed fraud to obtain a license, state records showed Friday.
Dr. John Anderson King, who was also publicly reprimanded, paid $10 to have his name changed the next month to Christopher Wallace Martin and continued seeing patients.
He was later fired from a clinic near Birmingham, reportedly after being accused of overdosing a patient.
King, 48, is named in 110 lawsuits related to his work as an orthopedic surgeon at a hospital in Putnam County, W.Va., for six months in 2003. A judge there ordered him to appear in court and produce records sought by the plaintiffs.
The suits allege King harmed and sometimes killed patients at Putnam General, sometimes through unnecessary surgery.
Originally from Birmingham, King is now known legally as Martin.
In testimony Friday in West Virginia, King said he doesn't have an address and moves between friends' homes in Alabama and a sister's house in Florida. King said his tax records were destroyed in a fire.
Records from the Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners show that King was fined, publicly reprimanded and ordered to attend a medical ethics course in February after members ruled he committed fraud in applying for his medical license.
King failed to reveal on his application that he was under investigation by medical officials in New York and Michigan, the board found, although he did report problems in West Virginia and Texas.
Records show the Medical Licensure Commission of Alabama asked the board to revoke King's license, but members let him continue practicing.
The next month, records show, King paid a $10 fee and Houston County Probate Judge Luke Cooley approved a request to change his name to Christopher Wallace Martin. Weeks later, he sent Alabama medical officials a form listing "identity theft" as the reason for the name change.
A West Virginia newspaper, The Sunday-Gazette Mail in Charleston, reported the man was fired in late October or early November from an American Family Care clinic in Trussville, near Birmingham, after being accused of overdosing a patient.
The newspaper said King once held osteopathic licenses in 15 states. Alabama records show his license is set to expire at the end of this year.
Osteopaths manipulate bones and muscles to treat illnesses.