Judge confirms fired Swedish Health neurosurgeon's $17.5M award, orders Swedish to pay additional fees

Alyssa Rege - Print  | 

A judge confirmed the $17.5 million award previously granted to David Newell, MD, a former neurosurgeon at Seattle-based Swedish Health, last Thursday, The Seattle Times reports.

King County Superior Court Judge Ken Schubert filed an order confirming the full award after he reviewed the arguments made by Dr. Newell and Swedish Health.

The judge also ordered Swedish Health and its parent company, Renton, Wash.-based Providence Health & Services, to pay attorney fees and costs accrued for the case, which amounted to $685,000, the report states.

"We fully intend to appeal this gross injustice," said Guy Hudson, MD, CEO of Swedish Health.

In his lawsuit against Swedish Health, Dr. Newell claimed the health system fired him last year after he filed internal complaints about fellow surgeon Johnny Delashaw's, MD, patient care practices. Dr. Delashaw resigned from his post as chairman of the Seattle-based Swedish Neuroscience Institute in March and had his medical license suspended in May. Dr. Newell claimed he was one of many individuals who had filed complaints against Dr. Delashaw during his tenure as chairman, the report states.

However, Swedish Health officials claimed they fired Dr. Newell after he breached his contract by failing to inform officials he was involved in a criminal investigation after police arrested him during a Seattle prostitution sting in July 2016.

Dr. Newell's lawyers said during the arbitration case Dr. Newell did not inform the organization of the incident because he was not aware he was the subject of a criminal investigation following his arrest.

The Washington State Department of Health is reviewing both Drs. Newell and Delashaw's cases, according to the report. DOH officials previously said Dr. Newell may face sanctions for unprofessional conduct. A hearing on his case is scheduled to take place this week.

Dr. Delashaw, who seeks to get his medical license back, currently does not have a scheduled hearing date, the report states.

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