Many New Jersey residents are likely aware of the case involving a Maryland cardiologist who allegedly implanted unnecessary stents in as many as 369 patients. Many of the lawsuits involving these allegations are ongoing, but the doctor, Mark Midei, has lost his employment and his license to practice medicine in the meantime.
Midei has maintained that he was only a scapegoat in a larger kickback scheme organized by St. Joseph's Medical Center and the owner of that hospital. The hospital has in fact settled a $22 million whistleblower suit to this effect, but has not admitted any guilt. Midei has now sued St. Joseph's for defamation, arguing he lost his job and reputation due to his employer. But on Monday a judge threw out the employment dispute, saying Midei waived his right to sue when he signed a separation agreement.
Midei reportedly signed a release stating he could not sue the hospital even though he was aware of ongoing state and federal investigations into the stent procedures. However, Midei argues he only signed the release because he was told his employer was going to help him find new employment. His lawyer has said he will appeal the judge's decision to dismiss the claim.
Civil litigation and breach of contract claims are very complex. Employees who are faced with an employment contract or a separation agreement are wise to look over the document with an attorney before signing it. It is imperative to understand all of the implications of a legal document before they may come into play. It is additionally wise for the business to draft the document with its own attorney, to ensure the document will provide for the business owners intentions.
Source: Baltimore Sun, "Judge: St. Joseph's couldn't have duped Midei," Scott Dance, April 24, 2012