The Warshawsky Law Firm has filed an employment discrimination lawsuit in New York supreme court against the Mount Sinai Health System on behalf of a black neurosurgeon whose medical staff privileges and employment were wrongfully terminated by Mount Sinai in December 2017. Our client is board-certified in neurosurgery and worked at St. Luke’s – Roosevelt Hospital for more than 17 years with an unblemished record. Despite the risks associated with neurosurgery, he has not had a single medical malpractice settlement or judgment against him.
As alleged in the complaint, after Mount Sinai acquired the hospital around 2013, the new director began a campaign of bullying, harassment, and disparate treatment intended to force our client out. Eventually, the hospital fabricated a case against our client falsely accusing him of “delaying” necessary treatment to four patients. In fact, none of these patients suffered an adverse outcome, and a review of the cases by three distinguished neurosurgery experts confirmed that our client’s treatment of them was well within the standard of care. Nevertheless, Mount Sinai used these cases as a pretext to fire our client – the only black neurosurgery attending in the entire Mount Sinai system. Incredibly, a white neurosurgeon at St. Luke’s – Roosevelt Hospital with a track record of poor patient care, including operating on the wrong side of a patient’s head, was allowed to remain on staff for years and even provided with an opportunity to improve his performance before he was fired. Our client was not shown the same consideration by Mount Sinai that this white neurosurgeon received. As a result of losing his privileges, an adverse action report was filed against our client with the National Practitioner Data Bank, which has hampered our client from obtaining new employment.
Before filing this lawsuit, our client challenged the termination of his medical staff privileges through the procedures set forth in the New York Public Health Law. This involved submitting a complaint, along with supporting evidence, to the New York State Public Health and Health Planning Council. In June of this year, the Public Health Council ruled in favor of our client and directed Mount Sinai to review its decision to terminate his medical staff privileges. To date, Mount Sinai has not restored our client’s privileges. Consequently, our client had no choice but to file this lawsuit to remove this black mark on his professional reputation, which has had devastating effects on his career.