LACONIA — A former emergency room physician at Franklin Regional Hospital is suing LRGHealthcare — the hospital’s parent organization — for terminating his services, allegedly because he reported on a patient, who was under the influence of drugs, that worked for one of LRGH’s vendors.
In a suit filed in Belknap County Superior Court, Doctor David Strang, through his attorney Jason Major, alleges that LRGHealthcare violated the terms of the contract the organization has with Central New Hampshire ER Associates, as well as causing financial harm to the doctor.
According to the complaint filed July 30, Strang was treating a patient in the emergency room at Franklin Regional in the spring of 2015 who showed signs of being drug-impaired. Strang also learned that the patient worked for an LRGHealthcare vendor which provided transportation services for other patients.
Because Strang was concerned that the patient was unfit to drive either himself or others, he paged Marge Kearns, the administrator on call, for advice. When Kearns failed to respond to the pages for an hour, Strang called Henry Lipman, LRGHealthcare’s chief financial officer, who recommended that the doctor contact Mitchell Jean, LRGHealthcare’s in-house attorney. Jean asked Strang to contact the patient’s employer “to satisfy the hospital’s ‘duty to warn,’” the suit states. Strang then contacted the employer who came to the hospital. At that time, the patient told the employer of his drug use. The employer later “dismissed him from duty,” the suit says.
LRGHealthcare spokesman Sandy Marshall declined a request to comment on the matter, citing the organization’s policy not to comment on pending litigation.
The suit goes on to allege that, several days after treating the patient, Strang received “hostile-toned” emails from Kearns, complaining about the way he had handled the situation. Afterward, Strang was taken off the emergency room schedule and barred from working shifts at the Franklin hospital.
The suit states that LRGHealthcare never gave any formal notice to ER Associates and that neither it nor Strang were given an opportunity to rectify any concerns “LRGH may or may not have had relative to Dr. Strang’s performance,” which was contrary to the terms spelled out in the contract between ER Associates and LRGH.