UC-Irvine Surgeon Wins $2 Million Whistleblower Retaliation Case

A jury in Orange County, California, recently awarded $2 million to a neurosurgeon from the University of California-Irvine who alleged that the university system’s Board of Regents and the former dean of the UCI School of Medicine wrongfully retaliated against him after he filed a grievance against his supervisors.

The lawsuit took nearly three years to complete. Now, six years after the event at the crux of the suit, plaintiff Mark Linskey has closure.

Plaintiff exposed possible conflicts of interest

Linskey filed his claim in June 2016, alleging that Ralph Clayman, who served as the dean of the medical school, and Johnny Delashaw, chair of the department of neurosurgery, conspired to remove Linskey from the department after he filed a grievance against them. In the grievance, Linskey expressed his concerns about certain conflicts of interest that existed. He also was concerned about the safety of the department’s patients.

The plaintiff believed patients’ safety was compromised in June 2012 when vascular neurosurgery cases were taken off the general neurosurgery on-call service. Future emergency neurovascular cases were reserved for Delashaw and another doctor in the department. Linskey requested inclusion in these cases, but was denied. He filed a grievance with the Committee on Privilege and Tenure.

Linskey alleges Clayman retaliated by seeking to have him removed from the department and placed in general surgery. Delashaw also allegedly told residents not to help Linskey in surgery and even threatened consequences if they communicated with him.

Whistleblower retaliation is illegal under federal law, and there are numerous protections afforded to individuals who act as whistleblowers to speak out about wrongdoing. For more information on the best strategy to use when proceeding with your case, speak with an experienced attorney at Kardell Law Group.