Transplant surgeon's federal lawsuit against university dismissed
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 26, 2004
A lawsuit by transplant surgeon Dr. Raymond Pollak alleging his employers retaliated against him after he said they fraudulently hospitalized patients in an attempt to move them up the liver-transplant waiting list has been dismissed.
A federal judge ruled that the University of Illinois Board of Trustees was "an arm of the state" and, therefore, was protected from being sued by an individual in federal court.
"We are very pleased with the decision," said UIC Associate Chancellor Mark Rosati.
Dr. Pollak's attorney, Laurie Wasserman, said the university "hid behind a legal technicality" and the judge's ruling "really has nothing to do with the merits of the case."
The former head of the multiorgan transplant program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Dr. Pollak is a professor of surgery and head of the abdominal organ transplant program at the university's Peoria campus. He was seeking reinstatement to his former position.
Acting on Dr. Pollak's allegations, the federal government sued the University of Illinois at Chicago, which settled in November 2003, agreeing to pay more than $2.3 million.
Dr. Pollak also filed a defamation lawsuit against the university in Cook County Circuit Court, which is still pending.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2004/07/26/prbf0726.htm.