Fired Swedish Health neurosurgeon receives $17.5M award in wrongful termination suit

Written by Laura Dyrda | September 15, 2017 | Print  |

An arbitrator awarded former Seattle-based Swedish Health neurosurgeon David Newell, MD, millions of dollars in connection with his firing last year, which he contends was due to questioning the practices of a colleague; the health system disagrees, according to the Seattle Times.


Here are five things to know:


1. Dr. Newell reportedly raised internal concerns about Johnny Delashaw, MD, another former Swedish neurosurgeon. At the time, Dr. Delashaw was a "star surgeon" with the system, but has since faced scrutiny and the state suspended his license. Swedish dismissed Dr. Newell last year, and he sued the system for lost earnings and emotional distress.


2. In addition to the firing, Dr. Newell argued Dr. Delashaw was instrumental in "dismantling" his practice and harassing him.


3. Swedish Health contested the decision and is challenging the arbiter's award. The health system reportedly fired Dr. Newell for not disclosing he spent time in jail connected to a local prostitution sting.


4. Swedish Health is also contesting the lost earnings award, reporting that Dr. Newell would need to perform 3,000 complex brain-aneurysm repairs per year to equal the award amount.


5. Dr Newell continues to perform surgeries at Swedish's Cherry Hill campus in Seattle, and the state will hold a hearing next month about whether to reinstate Dr. Delashaw's license.


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