Eight more Nebraska women have filed lawsuits in Douglas County District Court alleging medical malpractice by an Omaha doctor and his cosmetic surgery clinic. The eight join seven other women who had filed suits against the same doctor as of early August, bringing the total to 15 who have filed claims against him.
The eight new lawsuits, like the original seven, allege that the women suffered scarring, disfigurement and pain as a result of the actions of Dr. Gerard J. Stanley Jr. and his Sculpt Contemporary Cosmetic Surgery in Omaha.
The lawsuits allege that Stanley held himself out to them as a “board-certified” surgeon qualified to perform cosmetic and plastic surgery. Articles of incorporation filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office under his name in 2011 indicate that the corporation was organized for the “general purpose of engaging in the practice of medicine and more particularly the practice of plastic surgery.”
Stanley is board-certified in family medicine; he isn’t board-certified, according to two main certification organizations, in cosmetic or plastic surgery.
Thomas Shomaker and Thomas Gross of Sodoro Daly Shomaker & Selde in Omaha, attorneys representing Stanley in the cases, said in a statement released Monday that Stanley is a “qualified cosmetic surgeon and he provided proper medical care to each of these patients.”
Fourteen of the women are represented by Omaha attorney James Martin Davis. Five of those women repeated their allegations Monday in Davis’ Omaha law office, describing pain, scarring and disfigurement they said they suffered as a result of the procedures they underwent in Stanley’s office, including breast lifts, tummy tucks and liposuction.
One of the women showed photographs of scars under her arms she said were left by a procedure to remove excess skin left by a major weight loss, noting that she suffered nerve damage and continues to have pain in her right arm.
The 15th woman is represented by Allison Rockey of Copple Rockey Attorneys in Omaha. Rockey said her client, too, was led to believe that Stanley was a “board-certified” surgeon.
“It’s an unfortunate situation for everyone involved,” Rockey said.
Stanley’s attorneys said in the statement that the claims against the doctor arise out of the actions of a disgruntled employee who was fired from Stanley’s business.
“We feel the District Court is the proper forum to adjudicate these matters, and these meritless claims will be totally rejected, and Dr. Stanley will be totally vindicated,” they said in the statement. Stanley didn’t immediately return a call for comment.
Stanley is board-certified in family medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine, according to the American Board of Medical Specialties, the nation’s largest accrediting body with 24 member boards. He is not listed as being board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, another of the 24 boards, or by the separate American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, according to the boards’ websites.
To be certified by the plastic surgery board, physicians must complete at least six years of surgical training after medical school, with a minimum of three years of plastic surgery residency training. Another option allows for five years of training in a surgical field such as ear, nose and throat or general surgery followed by three years of training in plastic surgery.
To be certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, physicians must complete a primary board certification in a surgical field — including general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, and oral and maxillofacial surgery — and then complete a one-year general cosmetic surgery fellowship.