St. Peter's Health asks court to dismiss lawsuit over oncologist's removal

Officials from Helena, Mont.-based St. Peter's Health and CEO Wade Johnson filed a motion Dec. 8 to dismiss a class-action lawsuit against the health system that claims patients of Tom Weiner, MD, an oncologist at the hospital, weren't notified of his sudden dismissal and were left unassigned to a new physician, The Independent Record reports.

The lawsuit was originally filed Nov. 13 and alleges some of Dr. Weiner's patients were left rescheduling critical appointments after the hospital failed to inform them of Dr. Weiner's dismissal, resulting in gaps in their care. The suit also alleges undue stress and anxiety, and that some patients were assigned to a new doctor every few visits who wasn't familiar with their treatment plans. 

The plaintiffs haven't supplied facts of their allegations and haven't said how relief could be granted, the defendants said. They also argue the lawsuit doesn't meet the state's legal pre-litigation requirements of the Medical Panel Act. The plaintiffs' attorney, John Doubek, told The Independent Record he hasn't seen the dismissal motion and declined to comment further. 

Dr. Weiner recently filed his own lawsuit against St. Peter's, claiming the actions taken against him were "extremely unusual" and unwarranted. 

Mr. Johnson acknowledged Dr. Weiner's termination and his lawsuit in a Dec. 7 statement published in The Independent Record. "Numerous concerns" emerged about Dr. Weiner's patient care, including "harm that was caused to patients by receiving treatments, including chemotherapy, that were not clinically indicated or necessary," Mr. Johnson wrote. 

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