Court OKs suit against Iowa physician accused of incompetency

Storm Lake, Iowa-based emergency room physician Andrew Obamwonyi, MD, is appealing the court's decision to proceed with a suit alleging incompetency, Iowa Capital Dispatch reported Oct. 6.

He is appealing a district court ruling that upheld the right of the Board of Medicine to reopen a case tied to allegations of medical incompetence. A district judge ruled the board had not abused its discretion or failed to give Dr. Obamwonyi due process, which the physician had alleged. 

 Dr. Obamwonyi's attorney alleged that by reopening a previously closed case, the board had subjected him to double jeopardy, but because the case was closed with no action taken, the judge ruled the double jeopardy clause did not apply. 

In 2014, Dr. Obamwonyi paid a $150,000 malpractice settlement for an alleged failure to diagnose a medical issue. He failed to respond to the board's inquiries and the case was settled in a letter of warning. 

In March 2017, there was another $50,000 malpractice settlement made to a second patient, and six months later the board forced Dr. Obamwonyi to undergo a clinical competency evaluation. The evaluation resulted in the board alleging the physician "demonstrated deficiencies in medical knowledge and clinical judgment and reasoning," according to the report, and the board filed a public statement of charges alleging incompetency.

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