El radiólogo gana el establecimiento $4 millones contra hospital

por Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | November 10, 2010
After a three-year legal battle, a Montana radiologist won a $4 million settlement against a hospital he accused of illegally breaching his contract by revoking his hospital privileges.

Dr. Jesse Cole said Monday that St. James Healthcare, where he worked, has agreed to pay him a one-time fee of $4 million.

Cole sued the Butte, Mon. hospital in February 2007, after he said the hospital gave him and two other radiologists three hours notice to leave, as it had reached an agreement to exclusively work with radiologists from a Boston service. He also said the hospital had damaged his reputation, as St. James previously sued Cole in November 2006, blaming him for interfering with negotiations with doctors.

Cole called the settlement "a not-perfect, but acceptable resolution" to protect his reputation and ensure that doctors in the state can practice medicine without "undue influence of business interests." He said he would consider using a portion of the settlement to set up a foundation to show support for everyone who helped him, likely with an initial investment of $250,000.

Neither the hospital nor Cole admitted to any wrongdoing in the settlement. In a statement to the Billings Gazette, the hospital said many of those involved in the dispute no longer work at the hospital. It declined to comment further, saying the issue was a "personal matter."

Cole continues to practice radiology at Big Sky Diagnostic Imaging in Butte and a hospital in Anaconda, according to the Gazette.