Physician suing Charleston hospital for harassment that allegedly shuttered her practice

An Ob-GYN is suing Charleston (W.Va.) Area Medical Center and West Virginia University Medical Corporation-Charleston Division for claims that harassment and discrimination forced her to close her local practice, according to a report from the West Virginia Record.

The physician, Leila Sakhai, MD, completed her residency and established a practice in the area served by CAMC, so she occasionally referred patients to employees of a CAMC-WVU joint venture. In the lawsuit, Dr. Sakhai claims she had issues with one employee in particular: Byron Calhoun, MD, who was one of her instructors during residency and is one of two local physicians certified in maternal fetal medicine, according to the report.

Dr. Sakhai claims Dr. Calhoun repeatedly mocked her gender and national origin, kept her from performing obstetric procedures during her residency in favor of male students and refused to treat her referral patients who required exceptional care, ultimately forcing her to close her practice in May 2015, according to the report.

However, Dr. Calhoun is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Instead, Dr. Sakhai claims CAMC and WVU tolerated these behaviors from Dr. Calhoun, violating the state's Human Rights Act and creating a hostile work environment for women, especially herself, according to the report. She also claims her patients did not receive the necessary maternal fetal medical care they needed due to harassment, according to the report.

The plaintiff, who now practices in Florida, seeks compensatory and punitive damages, according to the report.


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