Texas State Jury Awards Surgeon $ 6.4 Million In His Defamation Action Against Hospital
iguel A. Gomez, III, M.D., was a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon doing business as Miguel A. Gomez, M.D., P.A. He chose to perform surgeries at hospitals run by and/or affiliated with Memorial Hermann Health System and MHMD, also known as Memorial Hermann Physician Network. At some point, management changes took place at the hospital where Dr. Gomez performed his surgeries, including the appointment of Keith Alexander as Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Gomez subsequently and increasingly became concerned about a decline in the quality of patient care at the hospital and began to speak out about his concerns. He also explored the option of moving his surgeries to another hospital. Allegedly, Memorial Hermann, MHMD, Mr. Alexander, and others began compiling and distorting statistical data related to the mortality rates of Dr. Gomez's patients in an effort to discredit him.
In 2012, Dr. Gomez and his practice filed a petition against Memorial Hermann Health System, MHMD, Keith Alexander, and others in the 333rd Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas. On or about Feb. 1, 2016, plaintiffs filed a fifth amended petition, alleging defamation, business disparagement, and tortious interference with prospective relations, among other things.
The case proceeded to a jury trial, with Judge Daryl L. Moore presiding. On March 29, 2017, the jury returned a verdict, awarding plaintiffs $ 6.4 million. A Law360 article by Michelle Casady on March 30, 2017, indicated that $ 1 million of the total award was punitive damages.
Plaintiffs were represented by Michael Patrick Doyle and Jeff Avery of Doyle LLP in Houston, TX, website: http://doylelawfirm.com . Defendants were represented by Jesse M. Coleman and Kimberly C. Gordy of Seyfarth Shaw, LLP in Houston, TX.
Lexis Advance subscribers may view the complete summary here: Miguel A. Gomez III M.D., et al. v. Memorial Hermann Health System, et al; 2017 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 716
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