CHI Franciscan Health, parent company Catholic Health Initiatives and fellow CHI subsidiary Franciscan Medical Group have agreed to pay physician Ramon Añel $2.5 million to settle a wrongful discharge, defamation and malicious prosecution lawsuit.
According to testimony, Añel escalated concerns to administrators of alleged lack of physician oversight at CHI Franciscan’s dialysis services in October 2012. He was terminated without prior notice in October 2013 and opened a private medical practice.
Añel’s attorneys assert that CHI then “aggressively interfered” with his ability to build a solo practice, including instructions to providers not to refer to Añel and the refusal to turn over medical records when patients asked to transfer their care back to him.
Añel filed suit in April 2014, and the dispute led to Añel amending his complaints from wrongful discharge to also include the defamation and malicious prosecution charges. A King County Superior Court judge granted partial judgment, double damages for wages and entered orders just prior to trial, including that the defendant entities “wrongfully and willfully withheld wages” to Añel.
“I am very grateful that my lawyers and the civil justice system allowed me to clear my name. I am especially grateful to my colleagues and patients who came forward to speak the truth,” he said.