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MEC Cannot Be Sued if Part of the Hospital

A recent case shows the value of properly drafted bylaws and the importance of being circumspect in what one says when terminating a physician employee.  The MEC recommended terminating the appointment of the physician which resulted in the termination of her employment by a private physician group.  She then sued the hospital, the MEC and the medical group under 23 causes of action, including a New York common law claim called a “stigma-plus” claim.  The physician’s claims against the MEC were dismissed because the Medical Staff Bylaws made it clear that the MEC derived its authority from the hospital.  The court then found there was no basis for her discrimination claims and dismissed those claims as well.  While describing its decision as “a close one,” the court did, however, hold that certain statements that were included in the physician’s notice of termination will allow the physician to try to prove her claim that the notice violated a New York common law cause of action known as a “stigma-plus” claim.

Henderson v. Physician Affiliate Group of N.Y. P.C.

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