Ridout Barron


Judge issues ruling critical of Alberta Health Services

According to a recent report, a judge presiding over the case of a prominent heart surgeon who is suing Alberta Health Services for suspending him issued a scathing ruling about the actions of AHS. The surgeon was a pioneer with open-heart surgery in the province, performing western Canada's first heart transplant in 1985. Now in his mid-60s, he has filed a $6 million lawsuit against AHS for suspending his surgery privileges.

The judge ruled that AHS did not follow due process in its decision to suspend his privileges. As a part of the ruling, the judge indicated that AHS failed to provide the doctor all of the documents it intended to use in the hearing it held and that another doctor presiding over the hearing had prejudged the matter. The surgeon has alleged in his lawsuit that a group of administrators and doctors at AHS engaged in a conspiracy in order to suspend him from practice.

The judge's ruling ordered that the heart surgeon be immediately reinstated with back pay dating to Nov. 30, 2013. AHS was also ordered to pay the physician's legal costs. The reinstatement has been stayed pending AHS's appeal, which brought the case to a three-judge appeals panel.

Sometimes in the course of a person's employment, a dispute may arise. In the event an employee believes that their employer has engaged in a discriminatory or unlawful employment action, the employee may want to discuss the issue with a lawyer. A lawyer may be able to review the relevant facts and then provide guidance regarding any potential claims. The lawyer may then help by filing a civil complaint on behalf of the client.

Source: CBC News Edmonton, "Alberta Health Services criticized for 'unlawful' suspension of surgeon," Charles Rusnell, Feb. 25, 2015.

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