New York health system sued by terminated physician

Warsaw, N.Y.-based Wyoming County Community Health System is being sued by a physician who was terminated more than a year ago, The Buffalo News reported March 1.

Paul Mason, MD, filed a lawsuit Feb. 15 in Erie County (N.Y.) Court, alleging defamation, breach of contract and retaliation, the report said. He worked with the health system since 2017, and in 2017 he got full-time surgical and clinical services, along with the title of chief medical officer.

Dr. Mason eventually formed  Buffalo Bone and Joint in Warsaw so he could contract for expanded services at Wyoming County Community Health System. The lawsuit alleged the health system's late CEO Joseph McTernan didn't regularly work with Dr. Mason and publicly called out the contract with Buffalo Bone and Joint, saying he thought it favored the physician.

In 2020, when a different physician allegedly performed surgeries in "what appeared to be an intoxicated or impaired condition," Dr. Mason reported the incident to the state Office of Professional Medical Conduct. This led to increased retaliation, the lawsuit said. The next year,  the hospital claimed Dr. Mason's practice breached service agreements. 

Dr. Mason was terminated in February 2022, and he later contracted with Bertrand Chaffee Hospital in Springville, N.Y. His lawsuit is seeking $24.7 million.

The Wyoming County health system didn't provide comment to The Buffalo News.

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