The orthopedic surgeons who left SSM Health Dean Medical Group in Madison, Wis., are now suing the hospital.
The 11 surgeons filed their lawsuit April 24 in Dane County Circuit Court and are asking a judge to block a clause from SSM Health, their former employer, saying they can't treat patients they saw in the last three years, according to court documents.
The surgeons left SSM Health in 2022 and recently opened their own independent practice. However, SSM Health's clause restricts the physicians from soliciting their existing patients at the competing practice.
In the new lawsuit, the surgeons say they chose to "take all reasonable steps to abide by those provisions." When they were at SSM Health, they provided consultations for other physicians and saw some patients in urgent care or the ER, which makes the clause too broad, the lawsuit said. According to the lawsuit, the clause could include patients with no previous relationship.
The surgeons are asking a judge to declare SSM Health's clause unenforceable.
Two of the surgeons were previously sued by SSM Health in November. That case is before another Dane County Circuit Court judge, The Wisconsin State Journal reported April 25.
A spokesperson for SSM Health didn't immediately respond to an April 25 email from Becker's.