Jury Selection Begins in 'Nose Doc' Trial - NBC Chicago

Jury Selection Begins in 'Nose Doc' Trial

Mark Weinberger was on the lam for five years before police caught up with him in Italy



    (Published Monday, March 14, 2011)

    Jury selection began Monday in the case of a former Indiana nose doctor who was captured in Italy in 2009 after five years on the lam.

    Dr. Mark Weinberger faces allegations of failing to diagnose lung cancer in a patient who died from the disease just days before Weinberger's disappearance. 

    The civil lawsuit alleges negligence in the death of Phyllis Barnes, who was suffering a raspy throat and nasal problems when she went to see Weinberger, according to the lawsuit. Barnes was treated for other issues, but her cancer went undiagnosed.

    Barnes' daughter, 25-year-old Shawn Barnes from Valparaiso, said the trial has been a long time coming. 

    "It's been hard growing up without my mom," she said on her way into court. "It was a difficult time."

    Weinberger pleaded guilty in October to 22 counts of health care fraud for charges of billing patients for nose surgeries he never performed.

    He also faces more than 350 medical malpractice suits in Indiana, as well as a federal lawsuit filed by his malpractice insurance provider. The company contends Weinberger breached his contract when he fled the country, becoming an international fugitive.

    Weinberger’s case has gone on for six years.

    He was captured on a mountain in Italy after he disappeared during a family vacation to Greece. A guide on the mountain tipped off police that Weinberger was living in a tent, equipped with survival gear.