University of Pennsylvania sued for Wrongful Termination

PA Dentist fired for reporting Nonessential Medical Care

Pennsylvania – The University of Pennsylvania is facing a wrongful termination lawsuit for terminating former dentist, Steven S. Pesis, who filed a report alleging that another dentist was engaging in expensive medical treatments with patients for financial gain.

“PhiladelphiaPenn’s School of Dental Medicine executive director of administration, Peter B. Kauderwood, was also named in the wrongful termination lawsuit filed in the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court. Penn argues that Pesis was not terminated on the basis of his report. The school says his termination was the result his university policy violation along with breaching a federal law that ensures patients’ medical records will remain confidential.

According to the wrongful termination lawsuit, Pesis began working for Penn Dental Family Practice in February 2012. In addition to working for the dental practice, Pesis also taught on the West Philadelphia campus in the dental school. Nearly four years later, a new dentist, Jack Tsai, joined Penn’s dental staff.

Several days later, multiple dentists and hygienists noticed that Tsai was ordering expensive replacement crowns to rectify dental problems that could be fixed with an inexpensive treatment. The legal information included in the lawsuit described Tsai as “a well respected, experienced dentist who provides comprehensive dental care to his patients instead of temporarily ‘patching’ his patients’ teeth.”

The questionable actions caused Pesis to instigate Tsai’s motive. In early November Pesis examined the patients’ charts regarding their medical condition, and discovered that Tsai “had engaged in fraudulent and unnecessary treatment.” Pesis reported his observations to his supervisors, and less than two weeks later Pesis received a letter with details of his termination.

The termination letter claims that an investigation took place, and the findings revealed that Pesis violated the federal law Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in addition to being involved with “unprofessional and inappropriate behavior.”

The wrongful termination lawsuit says the violation described in his termination letter does not exist. Pesis argues that doctors are responsible for fraud reports if they notice something wrong is going on in the workplace. Pesis added that patients are informed that their confidential medical information could be a part of an employee’s performance evaluation regarding their patients’ care.

Pesis’ wrongful termination lawyer and lawsuit concluded that Pesis termination was an act of retaliation for reporting wrongdoing in the workplace. The lawsuit highlights that Pesis have been unable to work due to various “false and defamatory statements” he received. Pesis is seeking $50k in compensation and a trial by jury as a result of his wrongful termination lawsuit.

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If you have ever experience wrongful termination as a form workplace retaliation in response to whistleblowing in New York, New Jersey, or Philadelphia, contact the New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia wrongful termination lawyers at the Derek T. Smith Law Group, PLLC. Our wrongful termination lawyers a well trained in handling wrongful termination lawsuits, and prepared to help you discover a solution that suits your preference. For more information on wrongful termination, read our employment law blog.


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