By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
A London doctor who came under scruntiny from the medical licensure board is now suing the doctors who reported him.
London attorney Bridget L. Dunaway of Tooms and Dunaway PLLC filed the lawsuit in Laurel Circuit Court on Monday on behalf of Dr. Jackie Maxey, as a physician and on behalf of Parkway Medical Associates. Maxey is suing London Women’s Care, Dr. Marc Briere, Dr. Thomas Mechas, Saint Joseph London, Saint Joseph Healthcare Systems, Catholic Health Initiatives and London Realty on claims that they conspired against him to stop his expansion of Parkway Medical Associates in 2008.
Maxey had already constructed a second building on his property on Hal Rogers Parkway, which housed a pharmacy and Parkway Pediatrics.
According to the lawsuit, Maxey planned to bring other physicians — including obstetricians, gynocologists and heart specialists — into Parkway Medical Associates. All those would have competed with London Women’s Care services and Saint Joseph London’s cardiologists — all of whom were housed in buildings leased out by London Realty and operated as Premier Heart and Vascular, Heart Testing Center, Pulmonary and Sleep Specialists, Premier Family Health, Neurology Clinic, Bluegrass Primary Care and Pediatrics as part of the Saint Joseph Healthcare System.
“Upon learning of the possibility of increased competition, the Defendants did maliciously set about to estrange and alienate the patients, employees, tenants and patrons of (Maxey) and to ruin, oppose and destroy the medical practice of Dr. Maxey and other businesses owned by him,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit alleges that Briere and Mechas served on various committees through Saint Joseph London including the Medical Executive Committee (MEC). Through the various committees, Mechas and Briere “possessed and exerted power and influence over other providers and agents and employees of Saint Joseph London.” Briere was also named Chief of Staff at the London hospital during 2008, at which time Maxey came under fire by the hospital’s Focused Professional Practice Evaluation (FPPE).” According to the lawsuit, Maxey underwent an unnecessary hearing and no quality-of-care concerns were identified during these hearings.
Maxey was again the target of the FPPE in early 2009, again with no negative results identified, and the lawsuit claims that Briere and Mechas misused these committees to target Maxey to stop his proposed expansion of services that would compete against their own.
Briere had also filed a complaint against Maxey to the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure and one of Maxey’s tenants — Parkway Pediatrics — to move from Maxey’s medical complex and relocating into the building owned by London Realty where the offices associated with Saint Joseph London were housed.
During this time, Maxey’s medical practice was limited and many medical insurance companies suspended their services. In addition, he was restricted from practicing at the London hospital and reportedly received no cooperation from hospital staff when any of his patients were hospitalized.
However, Dr. Maxey was clearned by the KBML of accusations in September 2011 following a 17-day hearing with 62 witnesses.
“The Hospital Defendants have acted with malice, oppression, recklessness and outrage toward Dr. Maxey,” the lawsuit claims. “Briere, Mechas, London Women’s Care and the Hospital Defendants have and continue to solicit Dr. Maxey’s patients and profit therefrom.”