Atlanta Chiropractor Arrested for Falsifying Thousands of Truck Driver Medical Exams
Anthony Lefteris, or Dr. Tony as he was known by his patients, operated a small solo-practitioner chiropractic office out of an Atlanta truck stop. While his practice may have been small and he the only medical professional, Dr. Tony managed to issue an incredible amount of medical certificates to truckers who needed them in order to obtain and renew their commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs).
In fact, Dr. Tony performed so many of these exams that he generally averaged the same number of exams in one day that most other medical practitioners licensed by the federal government performed in an entire month, according to federal authorities who recently indicted Lefteris on charges of falsifying documents and information sent to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Dr. Anthony Lefteris had been federally licensed to perform the CDL examinations, which aim to ensure that truckers are fit enough to drive and to not pose unreasonable dangers when behind the wheel. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), these examinations are meant to be a comprehensive medical checkup consisting of:
- A roughly 25 minute examination by a specially licensed medical provider
- Tests of a driver’s hearing and vision
- A review of a driver’s medical history
- Red flags for drivers that suffer from conditions that make them ineligible for a CDL, including high blood pressure, diabetes, certain psychiatric disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and more
- Urine drug screening test
Following an anonymous tip that launched an investigation and an undercover operation, federal authorities found that Dr. Tony rarely ever completed a full exam as it should have been conducted, yet still gave out medical certificates to truckers at an alarming rate. Additionally, they found that Dr. Tony failed to conduct critical tests that were meant to weed out unhealthy drivers, such as drug screens and hearing and vision testing. He also cleared truckers who suffered from conditions that should have made them ineligible to obtain a commercial licenses, including one “trucker” who in fact was an undercover federal agent that told Lefteris he was diabetic.
The indictment filed in the Northern District of Georgia alleges that Lefteris, who is 71, falsified over 6,600 medical examinations for truck drivers from almost every state in the country during the course of only a few years. In fact, Dr. Tony’s reputation was so well known that drivers who likely knew they wouldn’t have been able to obtain or renew a CDL had they taken a legitimate exam traveled hundreds, even thousands of miles to specifically visit him. The indictment also states that Lefteris medically cleared an average of 360 drivers each month, compared to the average of 14 certificates issued a month by other federally licensed examiners.
While Lefteris faces considerable criminal penalties for his alleged conduct, his actions raised many questions, specifically about whether these drivers were truly fit to drive commercial vehicles and whether they may have caused crashes as a result of medical conditions or issues that should have been spotted during the examinations.
In response to these concerns, the FMCSA released a public statement saying that all truckers who were cleared by Lefteris were required to take new examinations and obtain new certificates within 30 days of the notice. Drivers who failed to do so would reportedly have their licenses revoked.
At Schneider Hammers, our Atlanta personal injury lawyers know it is critical to public safety that drivers behind the wheel of large commercial trucks are fit enough to drive without posing unreasonable risks. Drivers who were cleared by Lefteris may not have been in shape to operate a tractor-trailer or commercial vehicle, and they may have caused crashes as a result.
Our firm will continue to investigate how and whether Lefteris’ examinations may impact truck accident cases where motorists were injured or killed, and will be sure to check if any truck drivers involved in crashes with our clients received a medical certificate from him. Truck drivers and trucking companies have an obligation to take reasonable measures to protect the public, and obtaining fraudulent clearances from a chiropractor is a severe breach of that duty.
If you have questions about a truck accident or collision involving a commercial vehicle in Atlanta or anywhere in the state of Georgia, our team of proven accident attorneys is here to help. Contact Schneider Hammers for a free consultation about your rights and whether you may have a claim for compensation.