Dr. Jeffrey Feiner, a former reconstructive plastic surgeon at Orlando Health, has filed a $100 million lawsuit against the hospital, claiming they wrongly fired him and damaged his reputation.
Feiner says in the lawsuit that the hospital fired him in March and then made false statements about him because he voiced his opinion about an unethical relationship between the health system and the pharmaceutical company Allergen.
He alleges that the hospital was ordering an excessive amount of products from Allergen and the pharmaceutical company gave the company improper gifts in exchange.
Allergen allegedly footed the bill for some of the hospital’s Christmas parties, bought many lunches and dinners and gave gifts to staff and physicians.
“To be clear: There is no inherent problem with a physician being a paid consultant to a pharmaceutical company. The problem arose when certain physicians pushed [Orlando Health] to order unnecessary Allergan products in exchange for compensation and other benefits,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit states that Feiner was fired because he refused to accept gifts from Allergen in exchange for ordering more products. On one instance in December 2017, an Allergen sales representative asked Feiner if it was alright to order extra breast implants because she wanted to win entry to the pharmaceutical company’s “President’s Club.” He immediately said no to the request.
The following month, Feiner expressed his concerns to several people in leadership positions at the hospital and even sent them photos of the unnecessary implant orders. They didn’t seem bothered and didn’t investigate the claims.
Feiner also tried to find lower-cost alternatives to Allergen products and even went to San Francisco to talk to Aziyo Biologics about getting their products into Orlando Health. He then discussed his findings with the hospital’s Material’s Approval Committee.
In March, Feiner was confronted by Dr. Mark Roh, President of the Cancer Center after he performed two surgeries. Dr. Roh told him that his employment was terminated. Feiner wasn’t given any explanations and was escorted out of the hospital immediately.
Feiner alleges that the hospital tried to conceal the real reason he was fired. They allegedly said he had behavioral issues, threw a medical instrument at a patient during surgery and threatened someone’s life in a parking garage. Feiner is seeking a jury trial.