UC Agrees to Compensating Surgeon $10 Million | Aiman-Smith & Marcy
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UC Agrees to Compensating Surgeon $10 Million in Whistleblower Retaliation Case

University of California regents consented to compensate $10 million to the ex-chairman of UCLA’s orthopedic surgery department, who had claimed that the renowned medical school permitted physicians to accept industry compensations that might have disturbed patient care. The settlement attained on April 22, 2014 in Los Angeles County Superior Court arrived only prior to concluding disputes were due to start in a whistleblower-retaliation case caused by Dr. Robert Pedowitz, a fifty-four-year-old surgeon who was employed to UCLA in 2009 to manage the orthopedic surgery department.

In 2012, Pedowitz took legal action against UCLA, the UC regents, his colleagues, and senior university officials, claiming that they fell short of acting on his complaints about extensive conflicts of interest and afterward reacted against him for protesting. As department chairman, Pedowitz gave evidence, he became worried about coworkers who had economic connections to medical device-producers or other corporations that could excessively impact their patients’ care or ruin vital medical research. Furthermore, he claimed that UCLA ignored this since it could economically benefit from the achievement of medical products or medicines arisen from its physicians.

One of the orthopedic surgeons that Pedowitz protested about giving evidence at trial about obtaining $250,000 in consulting costs in 2008 from device producer Medtronic. In memorandums to university officials, Pedowitz also mentioned concerns about the economic transactions of other physicians.