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More than 160 patients sue doctors and hospitals as $1 billion medical-fraud investigation continues
The Press-Enterprise

There’s just a whisper of bone, ghostly and gray, in the X-ray image of Joshua Lash’s spine.

The vertebrae spiral down, diffuse as smoke, until they reach a brutal and jagged conclusion: six stark-white images of screws embedded deep into bone, lashed together by metal rods. Dimly visible near the spinal cord are metal cages, meant to encourage bone to grow and fuse, thus restoring stability and reducing pain.

That’s not how things have worked out for Lash, a former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy, or for dozens of others who say they’re collateral damage in Operation Spinal Cap, the $1 billion medical-fraud investigation that has led to federal charges against more than a dozen Southern California doctors, chiropractors, hospital administrators and others — but to no relief for them.