Hippocrat and Midas walk into a clinic.
April 23, 2014 4:35 PM Subscribe
UC OKs paying surgeon $10 million in whistleblower-retaliation case.
'The settlement ends a case brought by the ex-head of UCLA's orthopedic surgery department, who says the medical school allowed doctors to take industry payments that may have compromised patient care.' 'In 2012, the surgeon sued UCLA, the UC regents, fellow surgeons and senior university officials, alleging they failed to act on his complaints about widespread conflicts of interest and later retaliated against him for speaking up.'[SL LATimes, use privacy settings in browser]
'He also alleged that UCLA looked the other way because the university stood to benefit financially from the success of medical products or drugs developed by its doctors.
One of the orthopedic surgeons that Pedowitz complained about testified at trial about receiving $250,000 in consulting fees in 2008 from device maker Medtronic. In memos to university officials, Pedowitz raised concerns about the financial dealings of other doctors as well.'
'At trial, Pedowitz said he was deeply troubled by the large amount of money Shamie was paid. He testified that he was particularly concerned that Shamie was trying to enroll patients in a research study involving Medtronic at the time.
"I saw this as an obvious problem," Pedowitz testified.'
'"These are serious issues that patients should be worried about," Pedowitz said in an interview. "These problems exist in the broader medical system and they are not restricted to UCLA."
'Before UCLA, Pedowitz worked at UC San Diego and as chairman of orthopedics and sports medicine at the University of South Florida.
Mark Quigley, an attorney representing Pedowitz, said the case could have been avoided if the UC system enforced the policies it already has in place.
"What good are all the policies if they protect the wrongdoers and fail to protect the actual whistleblower?" Quigley said. "The university wanted to cover it all up."'