Cardiologists file 2 lawsuits against DMC, Tenet alleging retaliation

The former president of Detroit Medical Center Heart Hospital has sued DMC, its parent company Tenet Healthcare and three executives for allegedly retaliating against him after he raised concerns over the quality of care at the hospital, Crain’s Detroit Business reported.

The federal lawsuit filed by Ted Schreiber, MD, joins a suit from two other cardiologists who leveled similar allegations against DMC and Tenet. All three cardiologists were demoted or fired from their administrative positions after they say they reported to DMC executives a series of problems including dirty instruments, unnecessary procedures performed by other doctors and issues with patient care resulting from a lack of nurses and support staff members.

"Ted Schreiber, as one of the most experienced and skilled interventional cardiologists in the country, has always placed patient safety and care as his top priorities. This was his mission when he was asked to develop the Heart Hospital at the DMC," David Ottenwess, Schreiber’s attorney and a managing partner of Ottenwess, Taweel & Schenk PLC in Detroit, said in a statement, according to Crain’s.

"Tenet has continued that course with its retaliation against Dr. Schreiber and others at the Heart Hospital who had the courage to question Tenet's practices of profits over safety.”

Schreiber is asking for double damages for back pay and interest, as well as attorneys’ fees, punitive damages and an injunction to prevent DMC or Tenet from disparaging him, according to the report.

In a statement, DMC said the actions taken against the cardiologists were for violations of the hospital’s Standards of Conduct.

"Contrary to the unsubstantiated claims made by Dr. Schreiber and by two former contracted physicians who all violated our Standards of Conduct, our top priority at the DMC is to deliver safe, high quality care to the people of Detroit,” the statement read. “We have a culture of integrity, which means we don't look the other way, we don't condone inappropriate behavior of any kind, and we don't compromise on our priorities.

“That also means we expect physicians to uphold our Standards of Conduct, including treating fellow physicians, nurses and staff members with respect and dignity. We welcome the opportunity to present the facts underlying the claims made in the complaint."

Read the full story below: