CHS' Lutheran Health Network sues ex-CEO for breach of contract, defamation

Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Lutheran Health Network, part of Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems, is suing LHN's former CEO Brian Bauer for breach of contract and defamation, according to WANE.

The lawsuit, pending in circuit court in Williamson County, Tenn., claims Mr. Bauer breached his contract with the health network by sharing confidential information with the system's competitors. Mr. Bauer was removed from his position at LHN in June after CHS rejected a buyout offer from a group of LHN physicians, but the lawsuit alleges he spread confidential and proprietary information about CHS' affiliates even after he was fired. The lawsuit claims Mr. Bauer created a Facebook account in August under the pseudonym Sajin Young to share updates and opinions about CHS and LHN, according to the report. 

The lawsuit alleges Mr. Bauer, who was recently contracted by Indianapolis-based Indiana University Health to help develop a physician practice in Fort Wayne, defamed LHN and engaged in a scheme to disrupt the health network's business, interfere with patient and physician relations, and "[sowed] the seeds of unfounded fear with staff," according to the report.

Mr. Bauer's continued dissemination of confidential information, and the solicitation of current employees of CHS and LHN in the course of his engagement by IU Health and otherwise are causing immediate and irreparable harm by damaging the reputation of CHS and LHN in the Fort Wayne community, according to the lawsuit. 

The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial and an order requiring Mr. Bauer to cease all activities in violation of his contract.

Mr. Bauer told WANE he has been advised by counsel not to comment on the litigation. However, he said the allegations are without merit.

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