A cardiothoracic surgeon who formerly served as an executive at Macon, Ga.-based Navicent Health was awarded more $5 million after a jury found he was forced out of his position, Fox and ABC affiliate WGXA reported April 14.
Fady Wanna, MD, sued Navicent in 2017, alleging the hospital reduced his pay, refused to pay his benefits and changed a policy that prohibited him from operating at its main competitor, according to the report.
The jury found the hospital acted in bad faith with specific intent to harm Dr. Wanna by misleading him by providing false information regarding his employment and benefits, according to the report.
The jury awarded Dr. Wanna $607,000 in damages, $1.5 million in attorneys fees and $2.82 million in punitive damages, according to the report.
Attorneys for Navicent argued in court that a large award to Dr. Wanna could result in service cuts at the hospital, according to the report.
Navicent’s attorney asked the jury to award Dr. Wanna $185,630, the amount equal to what the jury found Wanna owed Navicent for violating his employment contract, according to the report. The attorney argued the hospital is different in 2023 than the one on trial. Navicent has a new CEO and executives and is now owned by Charlotte, N.C.-based Atrium Health.
Atrium Health Navicent told Becker’s in a statement, “While we thank the jury and the court for their time and consideration, we respectfully disagree with the outcome of this case and are considering further legal options.”