Ohio hospital settles with neuroradiologist

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East Liverpool City Hospital in Ohio has settled a lawsuit brought by its former chair of radiology, Boris A. Karaman, MD, who claimed that the hospital induced him to accept the position without following through on its clinical obligations.

The case, filed in September 2009, was dismissed with prejudice by the Columbiana County Common Pleas Court on Feb. 1. According to the plaintiff’s attorney, Charles L. Richards, East Liverpool City Hospital’s vice president for administration, Robert Steffen, induced Karaman to chair the department of radiology and help develop radiology’s neurointerventional radiology program.

Karaman, a neuroradiologist, left his practice in Wyoming for the position. Richards claims that the hospital never fulfilled its monetary promises to provide proper clinical facilities for Karaman, who ended up performing neurointerventional procedures in the hospital’s cath lab, under conditions that did not satisfy American College of Radiology or American College of Cardiology standards, according to Richards.

The settlement came after East Liverpool replaced its former CEO, Mel Creely, with now president and CEO, Kenneth J. Cochran, who took his post in November of 2010. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.

“We’re excited to have resolved our legal issues with Dr. Karaman and look forward to a future of providing quality radiology services. This settlement is a result of our renewed focus on physician alignment and improving both access to and quality of care,” Cochran said in a statement.

Karaman, who is now a radiologist with Foundation Radiology Group in Pittsburgh, is expected to resume practice at East Liverpool City Hospital through the hospital’s contract with Foundation. Richards raised the possibility that litigation would be resurrected, however, due to the hospital’s alleged failure to abide by the terms of the settlement.

“In my 41 years of litigation I’ve never seen anything like this; for whatever reason the hospital has not carried out its duties under the settlement agreement. …They’re going to have to answer to the Court now, because I’m tired of it,” Richards stated.