Doctor Sues Northern Inyo Hospital For Wrongful Termination

Northern Inyo Hospital Administrator John Halfen called it “the most bogus complaint he’s ever seen in his 35 years in hospital administration.” Halfen referred to a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by former radiologist, Dr. John Nesson, a current resident of Mammoth lakes.

The San Francisco law firm of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro represent Nesson. Mammoth Attorney Rick Wood has the role as local counsel. Nesson’s lawsuit was filed in Inyo Superior Court January 15th. A press release was delivered to local media on Tuesday and the actual suit was served to Northern Inyo Hospital’s local attorney Doug Buchanan today (Wednesday). He declined comment and referred us to the lawyer who represents the hospital’s insurance carrier. Attorney Carlo Coppo will handle this case of alleged wrongful termination. Coppo told KSRW, “We don’t comment on pending litigation. We’re prepared to defend the hospital.”

The press release that announces Dr. Nesson’s lawsuit states that he wants damages for breach of contract and other allegations. The release says, “Dr. John Nesson believes his contract to provide radiology services was terminated because he complained about improper safety and privacy practices and other problems at the hospital.” The release says Nesson believes his termination was in violation of the terms of his services agreement.

The release goes on to say that Dr. Nesson had his hospital privileges suspended and contract terminated in the first quarter of 2009 after he claims he made a number of “complaints, reports and grievances to the District and its medical staff about the care, services and conditions at the District’s Radiology Department facilities.”

Nesson alleges that the hospital district failed to observe proper patient medical privacy practices, had inaccurate, unreliable and unsafe transcription procedures and failed to efficiently credential radiologists working on a temporary basis. Nesson also alleges that the hospital needed to upgrade outdated and inefficient equipment. However, it was during Nesson’s tenure at the hospital that a new radiology building was constructed and fully equipped.

Nesson claims his termination cost him “wages, benefits and other forms of income, as well as harming his reputation and affecting his future employment opportunities.”

Again, hospital attorneys have declined to comment but Administrator John Halfen described Nesson’s complaint as the most bogus he has seen in his 35 years on the job.

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