Former Orlando Health Surgeon Files $100M Defamation Lawsuit Against the Health System
A former plastic surgeon at Orlando Health has filed a $100 million defamation lawsuit against the health system, alleging that the hospital fired him without cause and made false statements about him, portraying him as “mentally and emotionally unstable.”
In the lawsuit, filed last month in Orange County, Dr. Jeffrey Feiner, a reconstructive plastic surgeon, alleges that the hospital fired him in March and then mounted a “smear campaign” against him because he had spoken out about an “unethical and illegal” relationship between the health system and the pharmaceutical company Allergan.
He alleges that the hospital tried to cover up why he was fired, saying that he had behavioral issues, liked to make trouble in the operating room, had thrown a medical instrument with a needle attached to it at a patient during surgery and he threatened someone’s life in a parking garage.
“These allegations against Dr. Feiner are blatantly false and highly injurious to Dr. Feiner’s personal and professional reputation,” according to the lawsuit.
“Dr. Feiner’s complaint, filed with the 9th Judicial Circuit Court of Orange County, Florida, lists behavioral issues documented during his time at Orlando Health that will not be tolerated. We strongly deny the allegations against Orlando Health in this lawsuit and look forward to providing a vigorous defense,” the statement read.
Feiner, who has expertise in complex breast reconstruction procedures for cancer patients, completed his residency at Johns Hopkins University. He joined Orlando Health in 2012.
Feiner was featured in a 2014 Orlando Sentinel story after Orlando Health live-streamed one of his team’s surgeries on social media.
As time passed, Feiner became concerned about the relationship between the health system and Allergan, according to the suit.
Feiner alleges in the lawsuit that the hospital was ordering excessive and unnecessary products from Allergan and in exchange, Allergan supplied Orlando Health’s doctors with improper gifts.
The suit claims Allergan paid — directly or indirectly — for some of Orlando Health’s Christmas parties, brought gifts for staff and physicians, and picked up the tab for their lunches and dinner. It also paid for all or parts of one of the physicians’ birthday parties, which included a private sushi chef, the suit says.
“To be clear: There is no inherent problem with a physician being a paid consultant to a pharmaceutical company. The problem arose when certain physicians pushed [Orlando Health] to order unnecessary Allergan products in exchange for compensation and other benefits,” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that Feiner was fired in retaliation after he refused to “play ball with Allergan” and other Orlando Health physicians who were accepting improper benefits from the pharmaceutical company. Feiner wasn’t fired for “poor performance or any other legitimate reason. His record was unblemished and patient reviews overwhelmingly positive,” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that in December 2017, an Allergan sale representative approached Feiner and asked if it was OK for her to order extra breast implants because she wanted to win entry to Allergan’s “President’s Club.”
Feiner refused, saying that the practice was inappropriate and unethical, after which the rep asked another surgeon to inflate the product orders and he obliged, the lawsuit alleges
Read More at the Source: Former Orlando Health plastic surgeon files $100 million lawsuit against the health system
By: Naseem S. Miller
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