An Ohio-based surgeon is working to rebuild his reputation, two years after false accusations ruined his career. Dr. Ricardo Quarrie, a cardiothoracic surgeon trained at the Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic and Yale New Haven hospital in Connecticut, was accused of lying to a patient to cover up a surgical mistake.
Last month, Deborah Craven — the woman who filed the lawsuit involving Quarrie — quietly recanted the claims through her attorney. “The statements attributed to Dr. Quarrie were made by another health care practitioner at the hospital, or his designee. I hope this letter clarifies any misunderstandings.” lawyer Joel Faxon wrote in a letter, excerpts of which were published by CNN on Monday (Aug. 6).
Faxon added that he initially believed Craven’s claims to be true. “However, information uncovered in the course of the litigation’s discovery phase demonstrates inaccuracies in those statements.”
Quarrie told CNN that although the retraction was a good start, “that’s two years of my life I can’t have back.”
The Jamaica-born physician, who grew up in Florida, spoke to CNN about the aftermath of Craven’s lawsuit, and the “long road ahead” to restoring his reputation. “Employers told me I was very qualified for positions, but patients Google their doctors, and they didn’t feel like they could refer patients to me,” shared Quarrie.
In 2016, Craven sued Yale-New Haven because surgeons botched a surgical procedure to remove a precancerous lesion from one of her ribs. Craven underwent surgery in 2015, but doctors mistakenly removed parts of her seventh rib, instead of the eighth rib. A day after the surgery, doctors performed a second procedure to correct the blunder. Quarrie assisted in the first surgery as a part of his two-year fellowship training at Yale-New Haven. He was named in Craven’s complaint along with the lead surgeon, Anthony Kim.
In the lawsuit, Craven claimed Quarrie told her that the follow-up procedure was to remove more of the same rib, and failed to mention that doctors messed up the first time. Yale New-Haven denied Craven’s allegations. The hospital maintained that surgeons “recognized that an error was made” and immediately “informed and apologized” to Craven.
Despite being vindicated, a Google search under Quarrie’s name brings up more stories about the lawsuit, than Craven’s retraction. Nonetheless, the optimistic doctor vowed to keep pushing forward, but his story is a cautionary tale. “It’s been a nightmare,” said the father of two. “The spread of that information — or misinformation — is so rapid, and people really do believe what they read.”