TAMPA — The Florida Board of Medicine voted Friday to revoke the medical license of a Fort Lauderdale doctor accused of misrepresenting his credentials while serving as an expert witness in a malpractice case.
The doctor, Richard S. Dellerson, said he plans to appeal the decision.
The disciplinary action against Dellerson was the result of a more-than-five-year crusade by Scott Plantz, a former doctor at St. Anthony's Hospital in St. Petersburg. Plantz has a pending lawsuit against Dellerson, who testified against him in a malpractice lawsuit stemming from a 2007 case.
The board, which met Friday at Wyndham Tampa Westshore hotel, made its decision just days after Gov. Rick Scott signed into law changes to state malpractice laws, including a provision that puts new restrictions on expert witnesses.
Dellerson, 74, admitted that in 2010 he filed two expert opinions in which he said he was board certified in emergency medicine. His certification, however, had expired a year earlier. He chalked it up to "carelessness" and said Plantz was simply on a "witch hunt."
Plantz said after the hearing that the certification issue was just one indication of bigger problems with Dellerson's testimony. "This man was the poster child for why this legislation should be passed," said Plantz, who now teaches at University of Louisville but attended Friday's board meeting in Tampa.
The board also took action in several other cases involving Tampa Bay area doctors. Those actions include:
• Revoking the license of James D. Murphy Jr., a Tampa anesthesiologist. Murphy last November pleaded guilty in Hillsborough Circuit Court to 33 counts of possession of child pornography. The judge withheld adjudication and ordered Murphy to serve 10 years on probation. The pornography was on a home computer. No evidence suggests inappropriate behavior with patients, but board members said they didn't want to take any chances. Murphy and his lawyer declined to comment after the hearing.
• Reprimanding and levying a $30,000 fine against Valli Subramanian, a Clearwater pain management doctor who had a patient die of an oxycodone overdose in 2009. Subramanian prescribed "excessive and inappropriate quantities" of drugs to the patient and also kept inadequate medical records on the patient, the Department of Health said in an administrative complaint.