Wednesday, September 18

UC pays former UCLA surgeon $10M settlement in whistleblower lawsuit

The University of California paid a $10 million settlement Tuesday to the former chairman of UCLA’s orthopedic surgery department, after he alleged the school’s doctors took lucrative payments from medical companies and subsequently compromised patient care, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Times reported that two years ago, then-UCLA surgeon and orthopedic surgery chairman Robert Pedowitz sued UCLA, the UC Board of Regents, university officials and other surgeons, claiming they retaliated against him after he accused university doctors of conflicts of interest in their research and treatment of patients.

According to a statement on a UCLA website, the UC Regents paid the settlement “to end a prolonged conflict and permit UCLA Health Sciences to refocus on its primary missions.” The statement also claimed that UCLA fully abided by the law and UC policy.

“Multiple investigations by university officials and independent investigators concluded that conduct by faculty members was lawful,” the statement read. “Patient care was not compromised.”

The board agreed to pay the settlement before closing arguments in the case at the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday, the Times reported.

Compiled by Kristen Taketa, Bruin senior staff.

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