Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery — fraud! deception! misrepresentation! acting with intent to injure!
a must read for anyone considering plastic/cosmetic surgery by any doctor or surgeon claiming to be a "board certfied plastic surgeon" or "board certifeid cosmetic surgeon." my personal advice would be to educate yourself on the doctor or surgeons actual experience, credentials, training, certifications, reputation and more!
in my opinion, doctors should not be lying to patients about their qualificiations, expertise, experience, credential and/or training. I also believe that doctors should not act with the intent to injure and should not be fraudulently misrepresenting themselves as board certified plastic surgeons if they are not. I personally find the amount of negative reviews, on-line complaints, pictures/descriptions of unsatisfactory results and the frightening amount of litigation involving these two doctors to be extremely alarming, dangerous and disturbing.
below is actual information taken (word for word) from the superior court of arizona case files outlining one patients experience (as per the court docs) with michelle l. cabret-carlotti in regards to fraud, dececption, misrepresentation of plastic surgery experience, training and certification, acting with intent to injure and more (you can confirm this by checking online court records or visiting the superior court of arizona to obtain the full report).
superior court of arizona | case number: cv [protected]
plaintiffs: lauretta & michael morton
defendants: desert palm surgical group, michelle l. cabret-carlotti, albert e. carlotti, iii
verdict & ruling (judge ruled in favor of the patient)
plaintiffs awarded judgement against defendants dpgs; michelle l. cabret-carlotti; and albert e. carlotti, iii as follows:
1. the "financial agreement" signed by plaintiff is hereby declared to be unenforceable
2. defendants ordered to immediately return $24, 050 prepayment to plaintiff
3. plaintiff is awarded of prejudgment interest at the rate of ten percent per annum on the $24, 050 from the date the plaintiff cancelled the scheduled procedure on january 2, 2007
4. plaintiff are awarded their attorney fees and associate expenses incurred in this matter from the date plaintiff cancelled the scheduled procedure, in the amount of $47, 889.77
general allegations (all numbers as per original court documents)
6. desert palm surgical group (dpsg) provides maxillofacial and cosmetic surgery services in addition to various skin care services such as, but no limited to, chemical peels, microdermabrasion and facial massage. the carlottis at all times relevant to this complaint held themselves out as having expertise in reconstrutive, and cosmetic facial and body surgery.
7. ms. morton went to dpsg in late 2004 or early 2005 for skin care services, including microdermabrasion
8.in november 2005, ms. morton made an appointment with dr. cabret-carlotti to discuss possible surgery involving her neck area. at this consultation, dr. cabret-carlotti recommended that the ms. morton undergo an endoscopic browlift, an upper lid blepharoplasty, face and neck lift, tca peel and cheek implants for a total of $16, 672.50
9. ms. morton considered procedures and decided not to have them done
10. about a year later, ms. morton again consulted with dr. cabret-carlotti, who recommended that, in addition to the above services, to also undergo a periorbital laser and liposculpture of her back, flanks and abdomen, for a total price of $24, 300
11. patient discussed the recommended surgical procedures with her husband and he became concerned about the extent of the procedures and the carlottis experience and traning
12.in december 2006 both ms. morton and mr. morton went to dpsg for an appointment with defendant cabret-carlotti
13. at this visit, mr. morton, who was concerned about defendant cabret-carlottis qualifications and experience, asked dr. cabret-carlotti about her plastic surgery experience and her expertise in these types of procedures
14. defendant cabret-carlotti responded that she had been a surgeon for more than 20 years and that she does these types of procedures "all the time"
15. mr. morton also told defendant cabret-carlotti that he had heard there were two types of plastic surgeons, ones with surgical training that could perform surgeries in a hosptial and others with limited traning that could perform plastic surgery in an office setting, and he wanted to make sure that she was not the latter
16. defendant cabret-carlotti asnwered these questions and made other statements, all of which lead the mortons to believe that defendant cabret-carlotti was "certified" to perform plastic/cosmetic surgery, that she had the highest level of training possible, and that she had more than 20 years experience with these types of procedures
17. the mortons justifiably relied on the representations by defendant cabret-carlotti in agreeing that ms. morton would go forward with the surgery. patient, who already paid some deposits, then paid the balance of $23, 000-plus on or about december 12, 2006
18. pursuant to dpsgs written financial agreement, patients undergoing cosmetic surgery were required to prepay the entire price three weeks prior to the surgery. the financial agreement stated, "this payment is also non-refundable, but it is transferable to a later date for up to six months if your surgery is cancelled due to documented personal medical emergency only. if your surgical procedure needs to be rescheduled within two weeks prior to your scheduled date you will be required to pay a non-refundable re-booking fee. there will be no exceptions made" a true and correct copy of the financial agreement is attached as exhibit "a."
19. ms. mortons surgery was scheduled for january 18, 2007
20. upon information and belief, the principle surgeon was to be albert carlotti, iii, m.d., whom the mortons had never met
21. ms. morton then learned from discussions with others that the defendants carlottis were not board certfified plastic surgeons, that cabret-carlotti did not have 20 years experience (and had not even graduated from medical school until 1999), that both doctors were primarily dental and maxillofacial surgeons, and that most board-certified plastic surgeons would not be willing to perfom all of the procedures recommended by defendant cabret-carlotti in one surgical session
22. the mortons also later discovered that defendants cabret-carlotti and carlotti do not have the type or length of training necessary to be eligible to become board-certifed plastic surgeons
23. upon information and belief, neither of the carlottis had priveleges to perform traditional plastic or cosmetic surgery (such as a facelift) in a hospital
24. upon learning this, ms. morton called dpsg on january 2, 2007 to cancel her surgery
25. during the january 2, 2007 telephone conversation, patient was told that her payment would only be refunded if she produced a doctors note providing a medical reason for canceling the surgery
26. ms. mortons physician sent a letter to the defendants stat that, for various reasons stated in the letter, "it would be ill advised to proceed with any elective surgery at this time."
27. desert palm refused to return the prepayments
28. arizona prohibits physicans from obtaining a fee by fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. moreover, it is unprofessional conduct for a physician to represent or hold oneself out as being a medical specialist when such is not a fact
count one: fraud/fraudulent inducement
30. for purpose of inducing patient to pay the balance of more than $23, 000, defendant cabret-carlotti falsly represented to the mortons that she had more than 20 years of experience performing these types of surgeries, that she had the highest level of traning in the industry, and that she was priviledged to perform plastic surgeries in a hospital setting
31. cabret-carlotti knew that her representations regarding her experience, her training and her privileges were false. alternately, she made false representations reckelssly and without regard for their truth or falsity
32. cabret-carlotti intended that the mortons rely on her false representations, and they did so, in the manner contemplated or intended by cabret-carlotti, by paying the $23, 000-plus balance remaining for the recommended surgery
33. the mortons were ignorant to the falsity of defendant cabret-carlottis representations, and their reliance thereon was reasonable in the circumstances
34. as a direct and proximate results of defendant cabret-carlottis fraudulent representations, the mortons have incurred and paid other amounts, including (but not limited to) the attorneys' fees, costs and other expenses incurred.
35. by defrauding the mortons, defendants acted with the intent to injure them or, alternatively, conciously disregard the risk that their actions were likely to cause substantial harm to the mortons.in the circumstances, the mortons may be entitled to recover punitive damages from the defendants.
count two: consumer fraud under a.r. s. 44-1521 et seq
38. defendant cabret-carlotti verbally used deception, fraud, misrepresentation and/or concealment, supression or omission of material facts with the intent that the mortons rely upon such, in an attempt to induce the mortons to pay for desert palms surgical services.
39. by their acts and/or omission alleged herin, defendants violated the arizona conusmer fraud act
40. defendant cabret-carlotti intended that the mortons rely upon her deception, fraud, misrepresentation and/or concealment, supression or concealment of material facts, and the mortons did so in the manner contemplated or intended by the defendants, by paying the surgery price of approximately $25, 000
(in my opinion) educate yourself before selecting a plastic/cosmetic surgeon:
*review state court records
*review medical board complaints and call state medical board to ask how many have been filed and dismissed against the doctors.
*review doctors education and experience
*search american/state plastic surgery board certification sites
*search american/state cosmetic surgery board certification sites
*reach out to others online or in person who have dealt with the surgeon in question or have had surgery. ask detailed questions and ask for pictures (if they are comfortable sharing).
(in my opinion) do not trust a doctor who:
*is not a board certified plastic surgeon or a board certified cosmetic surgeon (specific and extensive training is needed to achieve this level of certification)
*lacks integrity, honesty, regard for their paitents well being
*lies to patient or about patients online or in person or blames patients for their personal, professional and financial issues
*blames patients for their horrific job and short comings in the o.r.
*has an abundance of legal, personal, professional and financial troubles (red flag!)
*recommends procedures that you didn’t go in asking for or agrees to do extensive, multiple procedures in one day
*lies about their credentials, traning, experience and expertise
*you don’t meet or see during the consultation process (what are they hiding? red flag!)
*has a bad reputation in the community and as an individual and doctor
*don’t believe all positive reviews! certain doctors have been known to personally act as “happy patients” or have their employees act as “happy patients” and write positive reviews online. these same doctors have been known to contact websites to have negative reviews removed! I believe this to be highly alarming as many patients are lead into the “lions den” partially based off of these lies and omissions!
*don’t trust a doctor with multiple “personal review sites.” example: www.dr(namehere)reviews.com or www.(company)reviews.com - I believe this is a huge red flag and indicates that a doctor/company has had many issues with unhappy patients and their online reputation due to bad reviews. I also believe this indicates they have hired reputation defenders to help “cover up” and “push down” their negative reviews. I personally would never trust a doctor would was unable to take care of their own issues and needed to hire others to take care of the "problems" they have created for themselves and for others.
*educate yourself: search complaint sites, [redacted] sites, dr. review sites, yelp, google: (dr. name) (dr. company) + complaints, bad reviews, negative reviews (and other words, search for the worst and if you don't find anything, that is a positive. too many people search for the positive first and find out too late that there are many unhappy, unsatisfied and patients who are left with irreparable damage)
*yelp – when you search yelp, make sure you go to the bottom of the page and click on “reviews currently not recommended” and read all of the reviews. yelp generally doesn’t include 1-2 star ratings into their main rating (they have a generator that determines what reviews to account for the main rating). after reading up on the validity of online reviews, I have read multiple times that many positive reviews where the poster only has only posted 1-5 reviews are generally said to be fake (especially if the poster only has 1 review) - these types of reviews by these reviewers are to "boost" a company or individuals online reputation.
*search doctor rating sites (such as ratemds.com) but be aware that some site are known to remove negative ratings due to threat of legal action by doctors, doctors "claiming" that someone is trying to personally attack them, and other reasons (I believe this is usually done by corrupt, untrustworthy and desperate doctors). read responses to reviews on these sites! don’t trust a doctor who does not respond for themselves. I believe employees should not be responding to reviews related to a doctors performance. do not trust a doctor if they respond in such a way, or allow they employees to respond in such a way, that it belittles the patent/poster who wrote the review or takes jabs at their review in ways that have nothing to do with their experience (ie: questions their grammar or points out spelling errors). not only is this very tacky but I believe it shows that the doctor is not willing to take responsibility for their tragic work and sub par skills.