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Appellate Division Upholds Dismissal of Physician’s Contract Claims Against Medical Practice

Jun 23, 2021

In January 2020—after nearly eight years of hard-fought litigation—we obtained judgment following a non-jury trial, dismissing all the remaining claims made against a medical practice by a disgruntled former physician-shareholder. In her lawsuit, the physician claimed that the medical practice had underpaid her in violation of a compensation formula in her employment agreement.

On June 11, 2021, the Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department, unanimously affirmed the trial court’s judgment in favor of our client

The plaintiff physician joined the practice in 2005, and became a shareholder in 2006. She even served as the practice’s “managing partner” for a period of time in 2010. Eventually, she withdrew from her “managing partner” role and ultimately decided to leave the practice in the Spring of 2012.

As she departed, she commenced an unsuccessful shareholder derivative lawsuit against the practice and others. When that effort failed, she commenced this lawsuit, in which she sought to have the trial court re-calculate nearly all of her compensation—going back more than six years—and award her back pay.

At one point, the plaintiff amended her complaint to assert a claim against one of her shareholder colleagues—claiming that her colleague was also her “employer” and therefore liable for the alleged underpayment of compensation. That claim was dismissed when the trial court granted our motion for partial summary judgment.

After a four-day trial, the trial court determined that the plaintiff had indeed been properly paid and dismissed her amended complaint in its entirety.

Sometimes—often due to circumstances beyond our control—it is not possible to resolve a case at the outset, and it is necessary to “go the distance” with our clients. This was one of those cases. We are honored that our clients trust us to handle their most consequential matters.

The defendant medical practice was represented throughout the case by lead counsel Peter Weishaar, with assistance from Kevin Cooman. Both Peter and Kevin continue to lead MCCM’s commercial litigation team, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of business disputes.

A link to the decision of the Appellate Division decision is here.

This publication is intended as an information source for clients, prospective clients, and colleagues and constitutes attorney advertising. The content should not be considered legal advice and readers should not act upon information in this publication without individualized professional counsel.

About MCCM

McConville Considine Cooman & Morin, P.C. is a full-service law firm based in Rochester, New York, providing high-quality legal services to businesses and individuals since 1979.  With over a dozen attorneys and a full paralegal support staff, the firm is well-positioned to right-size services tailored to each client. We are large enough to provide expertise in a broad range of practice areas, yet small enough to devote prompt, personal attention to our clients.

We represent a diverse range of clients located throughout New York State and New England.  They include individuals, numerous manufacturing and service industry businesses, local governments, and health care professionals, provider groups, facilities and associations. We also serve as local counsel to out-of-state clients and their attorneys who have litigation pending in Western New York courts.  For more information, please contact us at 585.546.2500.