‘Butt lift’ surgeon accused in patient’s death aims to regain license

DORAL, FLA. (WSVN) - A plastic surgeon at a Doral cosmetic center who has been banned from performing procedures continues his legal fight to regain his medical license.

Dr. Osakatukei “Osak” Omulepu’s latest appeal is all about proof. His attorney, Monica Felder Rodriguez, said the state failed to prove its case when it revoked his license in April.

Monica Felder Rodriguez

“There was absolutely no proof presented in this case that he did something wrong,” said Felder Rodriguez.

The case against Omulepu involved four separate patients. When a judge and the Florida Board of Medicine revoked his license, they found medical record-keeping violations and said he fell “below the standard of care” when he “repeatedly punctured” two patients’ organs during liposuction on the same day.

Nyosha Fowler is one of those patients. “He punctured my colon in several different locations,” she said during a Skype interview back in April.

Nyosha Fowler

Fowler said her injuries took an economic and personal toll. “I wasn’t able to return to work. I lost my house, my car,” she said.

Felder Rodriguez said the state’s case lacks hard evidence. “Patients do get these kinds of injuries, but in order to take a doctor’s license away, you have to prove that they did something incorrectly,” she said. “That proof doesn’t exist.”

The attorney added that the judge used Omulepu’s decision not to testify at his hearing against him. “She said, ‘Because he didn’t speak, I’m going to make that finding. I believe that he must have done something wrong,'” said Felder Rodriguez.

After his license was revoked, Omulepu was allowed to continue practicing during his appeal. Nearly two months later, on June 1, 30-year-old Lattia Baumeister from Rock Island, Illinois died during a procedure, and the surgeon was told to stop.

Dr. Steven Rosenberg, a member of the Florida Board of Medicine, spoke about the legal process in Omulepu’s case. “It’s very frustrating for the board members,” he said.

Dr. Steven Rosenberg

Rosenberg said doctors almost always find a way to practice after their licenses are revoked. “We’re trying to do what’s best to protect the citizens,” he said. “Invariably, the legal opportunities that a lawyer will approach a judge with give [doctors] the opportunities to continue practice.”

Felder Rodriguez declined to comment about what Omulepu is currently doing for work, but she said they don’t expect a final decision to be made on the appeal until the end of the year.

The state has 20 days to file a response to the appeal. After that, there could be more oral arguments or even another hearing.

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