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Radiologist, Hospital Settle Lawsuit—Maybe

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An Ohio hospital and its former head of radiology have settled the radiologist’s lawsuit, which alleged that the hospital didn’t keep its promises to provide proper facilities. The radiologist may resume practicing at the hospital, but further litigation nevertheless may ensue because, says his lawyer, the hospital still isn’t keeping its promises.

Boris A. Karaman, MD, filed suit in September 2009 against East Liverpool City Hospital in East Liverpool, Ohio (about an hour northwest of Pittsburgh). The suit claimed that the hospital induced Dr. Karaman to become chair of its radiology department with promises of providing appropriate clinical facilities.

Dr. Karaman’s lawyer, Charles L. Richards, said the hospital did not fulfill those commitments. Richards said the doctor, a neuroradiologist, had to perform neurointerventional procedures in the hospital’s cath lab under conditions that did not meet American College of Radiology or American College of Cardiology standards.

According to The Review newspaper in East Liverpool, the Columbiana County Common Pleas Court last week dismissed with prejudice (meaning they can’t be resurrected) both the doctor’s complaint and the hospital’s counterclaim. The court ordered each party to bear its own costs.

The court divulged no other details about the settlement. Dr. Karaman had sought monetary damages and a ruling regarding a $150,000 loan the hospital gave him when it hired him in January 2008. Dr. Karaman had claimed that because the hospital breached its agreement, he wasn’t obligated to repay the loan.

The hospital’s new (as of November 2010) chief executive officer, Kenneth J. Cochran, issued a statement saying: “We’re excited to have resolved our legal issues with Dr. Karaman and look forward to a future of providing quality radiology services. This settlement is a result of our renewed focus on physician alignment and improving both access to and quality of care.”

The hospital has contracted with Foundation Radiology Group of Pittsburgh to provide radiology services. Dr. Karaman now works for, yes, Foundation Radiology Group.

According to HealthImaging.com, Richards (Dr. Karaman’s lawyer) raised the possibility of further court action.

“In my 41 years of litigation, I’ve never seen anything like this,” Richards said. “For whatever reason, the hospital has not carried out its duties under the settlement agreement.”

Richards didn’t elaborate on the hospital’s alleged failings, but he did say, “They’re going to have to answer to the court now because I’m tired of it.”

Related seminar: Neuro & Musculoskeletal Imaging

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