3 is a crowd...
- Need your opinion on this case.. all money ($5) per opinion goes to the
"cookie fund" (the girls who had to pay 900 bucks for leaving cookies at the
neighbors) will even mention your name as a contributor if you like..
This case involves a break up of a three partner internal medicine practice
called Internal Medicine Group (“IMG”). Plaintiff, Dr. Rat was hired as an
employee of IMG
in 1989. Dr. Deck had founded the practice and Dr. Cama had already joined
the practice as a shareholder prior to Dr. Rat's employment. In December of
1991, Dr. Rat became a one-third shareholder, officer, director and employee of
IMG for which he paid $75,000. At all times, the medical practice was managed
by Dr. Dec and his Mother-in-law Joy Grief. Essentially, the practice was
doing well bringing in approximately $2 million in annual gross revenue.
However, in early 2001, Dr. Deck advised that revenues were down and money was
getting tight. Dr. Rat offered to help in the management of IMG and asked to see
some financial reports and information. After some delay, Dr. Rat was provided
minimal information. The doctors kept treating patients and everything
In late March of 2001, Dr. Deck called a shareholder meeting. During that
meeting, Drs. Deck and Camacho accused Dr. Rat of being verbally confrontational
with staff. Dr. Rat does not have a temper and was shocked by these
allegations. Dr. Rat inquired if the other doctors were trying to force him out of
the practice and they denied that. Dr. Rath did say that if the other doctors
wanted him to leave, he had other opportunities. The three doctors shook hands
and the meeting ended. Dr. Rat confirmed with IMG employees that he was not
confrontational. For the next few weeks there was very little communication
between the doctors. On April 26, 2001, Drs. Cama and Deck called an emergency
meeting during which they had the company’s accountant present Dr. Rat with a
Separation Agreement containing non-compete provisions that would have
prevented Dr. Rat from working in the only hospitals he had privileges in
Gainesville. Dr. Rat asked for some time to review the document and advised that if the
other doctors wanted him out of the practice, they should do it the right way.
The next morning, Dr. Rath learned through a patient that IMA began answering
the phones “Deck and Cama.” IMA employees began advising patients and
other doctors’ offices that called for Dr. Rat that they did not know where Dr.
Rat was. In addition, IMG without notice turned off Dr. Rat's cell phone and
pager, canceled his credit cards to the practice, canceled his insurance
benefits, changed the locks and deprived Dr. Rat of access to his patients and their
medical records. IMG employees also told patients and medical personnel that
Dr. Rat 1) left town; 2) moved to Canada; 3) moved to South Florida; 4) that
they did not know where Dr. Rat was (even after he opened an office in the
same building on May 17, 2001); and even implied to one patient that Dr. Rat had
a drinking problem.
These statements were all false according to Dr. Rat's attorneys.
After leaving IMG, Dr. Rat was informed by prior IMG employees that
Defendants Deck and Ms. Grief had daily taken patients from Dr. Rat’s schedule to fill
Dr. Deck’s schedule. This is financially significant because the doctors
were compensated each year based on their percentage of the number of patients
seen and the amount of money generated from patient visits.
Dr. Rat mitigated his damages by starting his own medical practice in the
same building as IMG. Although his practice started out slowly, he is doing well
now. As a result of having to finance the new medical practice, Dr. Rat has
still not made the same amount of money he would have made, if he continued at
Dr. Rat sued IMG for breach of his Employment Agreement when IMG improperly
attempted terminate him. Dr. Rat also sued for Fraud while he was at IMG based
on the patient switching. An additional count asserted against the
Defendants is that the actions of the IMG doctors abruptly cutting Dr. Rat off from his
patients and the medical community, combined with the IMG employees refusing
to tell patients where Dr. Rats office was or how to contact him, constituted
defamation, tortious interference and injurious falsehood. The Defendants’
acts resulted in damage to Dr. Rat’s physician-patient relationships and his
reputation in the medical community. Dr. Rat has also alleged a breach of
fiduciary duty when the other two doctor/shareholders conspired to deprive Dr. Rat
of the value of his shares.
There are 4 main points
1) One employee agrees with the allegations of the defendants
in regard terminating Dr. Rat for cause. The remaining employees did not see
any of the acts alleged by the Defendants to justify their termination of Dr.
2) There have been many factual inconsistencies in the
testimony of the named defendants and with the testimony of the employees
3) Plaintiff will call patients to testify to the false
information provided, however, see defendant's point #1
and Now the moment you have been waiting for: the other side of the story!!!
The Defendants claim that Dr. Rat quit IMG, started his own medical
practice, tried to steal patients and would have been terminated for cause. The
doctors deny that any IMG employees misinformed patients or medical personnel of
Dr. Rat’s whereabouts. Defendants deny any allegation of patient switching,
that a fiduciary duty to Dr. Rat existed or that they breached any such duty.
Dr. Rat has started his own medical practice and should not be compensated
beyond the end of 2001.
There are 4 major points to the defense case:
1) All the patients that would supposedly testify as to the supposed
false comments ultimately found Dr. Rat and are treating with him.
2) How the March 2001 meeting was left (could the other defendants have
reasonably believed Dr Rat quit – when he was at best equivocal and they
Employment Agreement called for a written resignation;
3) The only employees who would testify to the alleged patient switching
worked at IMG in the late 1990’s. None of the current employees experienced the
patient switching. Therefore, no employees will testify.
4) Plaintiff's accounting expert has declared business bankruptcy and has
been suspended by the IRS for two years from representing persons in tax audits.
The Plaintiff’s expert testified that Dr. Rat’s damages has 4 components = A
+ B + C + D.
A = the estimated loss to Dr. Rat for the patient switching ($44,000)
B = The loss of the specific salary and benefits called for in the employment
agreement through the end of 2001. ($350,000)
C = The loss each year to Dr. Rat of the profits from his IMG contract less
what he did make in his new medical practice ($800,000)
D = The value of Dr. Rat's 1/3 share of IMG. ($797,000).
Defense witness state the value of the case for plaintiff is $0 and that the
value of the business was a nominal net book value.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]