Neurosurgeon, plastic surgeon sue Nebraska hospital, alleging wrongful suspension: 5 things to know

Spine

A pediatric neurosurgeon and a plastic surgeon filed a lawsuit against a Nebraska-based hospital and its CEO over an alleged wrongful suspension, according to court documents.

Here are five things to know:

1. Pediatric neurosurgeon Mark Puccioni, MD, and plastic surgeon Jason Miller, MD, were suspended after reporting concerns about whether a colleague was competent enough to perform surgery at Omaha, Neb.-based Children's Hospital & Medical Center. Dr. Puccioni initially reported concerns about pediatric neurosurgeon Adam Conley, MD, in 2017 shortly after Children's CEO Richard Azizkhan, MD, encouraged him to hire Dr. Conley.

2. According to the lawsuit, after Dr. Puccioni expressed concerns about Dr. Conley, Dr. Conley spread rumors about Dr. Puccioni abusing drugs; as a result, Dr. Puccioni underwent drug testing and a psychological evaluation.

3. In 2018, Dr. Puccioni and Dr. Miller reported concerns about Dr. Conley after one of his patients died during surgery.

4. The lawsuit claims both Dr. Puccioni and Dr. Miller were suspended shortly after expressing concerns. According to the complaint, "Dr. Azizkhan and Dr. Conley knowingly, wrongfully, intentionally and tortuously participated in the effort to destroy the practices and reputations of Dr. Miller and Dr. Puccioni."

5. The surgeons also claimed Children's Hospital & Medical Center misled patients to believe Dr. Puccioni and Dr. Miller either retired, moved away or were unavailable.

Children's Hospital released a statement to the local NBC affiliate, stating the organization doesn't comment on pending litigation, but does "strongly disagree with these allegations."

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