Dr. Louis Halikman and Mercy Hospital

Dr. Louis Halikman is orthopedic doctor that many insurance companies in Maryland – most notably State Farm – frequently use to defend car accident cases. “Frequently” is probably charitable; by his own admission he makes somewhere between $30,000 and $35,000 a month providing expert services for insurance companies.

Am I a big fan of Dr. Halikman? No. It is not that I don’t think he is a good doctor. He’s a smart man with good credentials, which is why insurance companies are Mercy_Campuslined up at his door. Moreover, being well paid by one side or the other does not necessarily mean the doctor is in bed with that party. But it is my opinion that he either has a philosophical anti-plaintiff animus or, more likely, his opinions are colored by the fact that insurance companies have paid for his services on the level they have for the last 25 years.

In my last trial with him, last summer, he pretty much claimed that our client was as injured as badly as she was because she was overweight, putting more force on her ankle when she fell. It was such a mean spirited and cheap shot. He also claimed she would have healed faster if she had gotten bariatric surgery to take off weight. He didn’t give much concern to the mortality risks of the procedure that he wanted to impose on our client. (The jury saw it for what it was and awarded over a half a million dollars.)

Ultimately, that’s okay. The game is the game. As long as the jury is allowed to hear the facts about how much insurance companies are paying for Dr. Halikman’s services, they are in the position to weigh his credibility and the facts of the case, and decide accordingly. In that ankle case, after talking to the jury, I don’t think the jury gave much weight to Dr. Halikman’s testimony.

My problem is getting an “independent” medical exam report from Dr. Halikman that is on Mercy Hospital letterhead. Mercy is a Catholic hospital that accepts federal money. Accordingly to their website, Mercy Hospital was founded on a chilly day on November 11, 1874 when six Sisters of Mercy arrived in Baltimore to take charge of a health dispensary called the Baltimore City Hospital. Determining the intent of these Founding Sisters is not a simple task. But I have a hunch their vision of this Catholic institution did not involve Dr. Halikman making money hand over fist testifying for insurance companies against car accident victims.

So why does Dr. Halikman use the imprimatur of this fine hospital to add luster to his medical exams for insurance companies? He is not providing medical services to a patient. The use of organizational logos indicates a full and equal partner for the content of the letter. (There is a reason why President Obama may not use White House stationary to raise campaign funds.) Does Mercy Hospital and the Sisters of Mercy have an equal opinion – or any opinion – regarding my client’s injuries? I’ll answer for them: they don’t.

  • Sean Sherlock

    Would there be any grounds for asking the court to allow the Mercy Hospital logo / letterhead to be redacted before the letter is introduced into evidence?

  • Luis

    The not so subtle antisemetic jab at Dr.Halikman. a very repected and generous doctor in the community, is disgusting. Mr. Miller first discusses the founding of Mercy Hospital by Catholic Nuns in 1874 and then inserts this antisemetic and questionable comment “But I have a hunch their vision of this Catholic institution did not involve Dr. Halikman making money hand over fist testifying for insurance companies against car accident victims. First, by making the case of the “Catholic hospital infering that Dr. halikman is something other, an outsider, being Jewish. Second, how could the nuns in 1874 have ever contemplated cars or the effects of torte on modern medicine and society, in general. Third, the “making of money–hands over fists” another sterotypical jab at Dr. Halikman’s Jewish religion. Maybe Mr. Miller should post his financial statement on this blog and not resort to antisemetic attacks.

  • Annette

    I went to see Dr. Halikman today and there is nothing I seen respectful about him. He has by far the worst bed side manner I have ever seen. I have bad osteoarthritis in my right knee and its bone on bone. He told me there was nothing he could do or even say. He said and I quote your fat you would have to lose 100 pounds before I would even touch you. Then he asked me if I take arthritis meds and I said no I couldn’t take N-SAIDS because of stomach problems he told me he didn’t want to give me pain meds to get addicted to . I told him I didn’t want pain meds I lost my 21 year old son to addiction. His reply well your not the only one. The nuns must have been with me. I kept my mouth shut. By the 15 minutes we were in there he told me I was fat at least 10 times. I know what size I wear but 100 lbs come on now. I wouldn’t give this man 1star.

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