Judge suspends doctors' licenses

<b>CORRECTION:</b> This Review-Journal article on Lasik eye surgery centers contained incorrect information about Dr. Paul Cutarelli's medical license. A district judge ordered reinstatement of Cutarelli’s license on Dec. 16. His license has been restored pending action by the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners. (Correction posted March 6, 2009)

A judge has suspended the licenses of three physicians and prohibited them from practicing medicine in Nevada pending a medical board disciplinary decision scheduled for early next year, officials said Tuesday.

Dr. Vikas Jain, an unlicensed physician in Nevada, also was named in District Judge David Barker's ruling.

Barker's decision followed a hearing in which Jain and Drs. Stella Chou, Paul Cutarelli and Anamika Jain appeared with their attorneys to argue their case against a previous temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.

Those actions came at the request of the state Board of Medical Examiners and the attorney general's office. Thirty patients filed complaints saying their Lasik procedures caused vision damage.

"Tuesday's action stops them from practicing before they go before the medical examiner's board,'' said Edie Cartwright, a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office.

"The previous restraining order and preliminary injunction had a certain period of time associated with them. And the defendants had an opportunity to go before the judge with their attorneys, which they did today.''

According to court documents, the defendants "provided the court with multiple affidavits of experts in the field of ophthalmology that have opined the defendants' actions were above or consistent with national standards.''

In response, the Board of Medical Examiners contends that the defendants' experts might not know the full nature of the procedures that took place at Valley Eye Center.

In October, the medical board's investigative committee filed malpractice complaints against Chou, Cutarelli and Anamika Jain and alleged violations of state law, including allowing Vikas Jain and another Valley Eye Center employee to give pre-operative and postoperative care to patients though they were unlicensed in Nevada.

A disciplinary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 23.