Duke U denies radiologist’s allegations of career-blocking collusion

Two years ago a Duke University radiology professor filed an antitrust lawsuit against her employer, accusing Duke of colluding with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to thwart either school’s faculty members who might seek to move laterally between the two institutions. Danielle Seaman, MD, said she’d been locked out of a position she desired at UNC-CH by such an arrangement.

Last week, a former Duke dean denied the claim and asked a federal judge to can the suit. This came in the wake of a request by Seaman’s lawyers to expand the case into a class-action lawsuit alleging broader efforts to suppress wages across the medical schools.

“I am not aware of any instance in which Duke School of Medicine declined to recruit or hire anyone because he or she was a member of the [UNC-CH] faculty or staff,” Nancy Andrews, MD, PhD, dean from 2007 to 2017, wrote in a signed statement filed Oct. 23. “I am not aware of anyone at Duke who believed that he or she was prevented from hiring a medical faculty member because the candidate was from” UNC-CH.

The Durham, N.C.-based Herald Sun has the details.

For now, Duke is asking U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Eagles to reject the class-action label, the newspaper reports. “But ‘at the appropriate time,’ it also will ‘strongly dispute the existence of any agreement of the kind’ Seaman alleges.”

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