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Lawsuit claims retaliation against NY hospital

Two physicians have filed a lawsuit against a local New York hospital. The physicians claim the hospital that served as their employer illegally retaliated against them when they reported another physician’s dangerous conduct. One of the physicians served as the director of the hospitalist program at the hospital, the other a neurologist and former director of the hospital’s stroke program.

The physicians claimed they complained to hospital officials, including the CEO and Chief Medical Officer. They state the hospital executives took no action to protect patient safety. As a result, they filed a whistleblower lawsuit.

The lawsuit states the physician in question “demonstrated a negligent, if not intentionally reckless, practice of medicine that endangered the lives of patients on a regular basis.” The physicians provided examples of their colleague’s unsafe practices, including a failure to transfer a patient to another hospital as recommended by the surgery team. The patient did not recover and ultimately died due to complications.

A recent report from hospital regulators appears to support the doctors’ claims. New York’s Department of Health inspected how the hospital handled over 30 reports over a span of nine months on an “unnamed physician.” Although the doctor under investigation is not named, the physicians bringing the whistleblower suit state it is the same as the one that led to their complaints. The inspection found the hospital failed to address this physician’s refusal to follow protocol, improper management of patients and violations of care guidelines during patient emergencies.

Both physicians bringing the suit claim they were victims of defamation within the hospital as a result of their complaints. The two resigned from their positions with the hospital due to these and other forms of discrimination resulting from their complaints. The suit is ongoing. We will provide an update when available.