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DOCTOR PREVAILS OVER LEWIS-GALE
A jury decided the hospital pressured her colleagues to fire her and awarded $900,000.
By: Mike Gangloff
A Salem doctor won a $900,000 verdict against Lewis-Gale Medical Center on Friday, with a Roanoke Circuit Court jury agreeing that the hospital improperly pushed the physicians group that employed the doctor to fire her.
Karen Alldredge was one of seven partners in Southwest Emergency Physicians, which supplies emergency room care for Lewis-Gale.
In March 2008, she had dinner with a group of Lewis-Gale nurses to discuss their concerns about working conditions. She tried to approach hospital officials about the nurses' concerns, but soon realized they were not receptive to hearing about the issues, her lawsuit said.
Lewis-Gale then pressured Southwest Emergency Physicians to fire Alldredge, threatening to end the group's contract with the hospital, the lawsuit said. In May 2008, Alldredge was let go.
Last year she filed a $10.5 million lawsuit against Lewis-Gale, alleging it interfered in her contract with the doctors group.
Southwest Emergency Physicians was not named in the lawsuit.
Roanoke attorney John Fishwick, who represented Alldredge, issued a terse statement Monday saying he would "continue to fight" for Alldredge if the verdict is appealed.
Alldredge, who Fishwick said had served with the U.S. Army Reserves in Kosovo, now works as an emergency room doctor at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salem, he said.
Lewis-Gale spokeswoman Nancy May said hospital officials have not yet
studied the jury's decision, or decided on whether to appeal the verdict.
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