Medical group sues doctor to recover practice set up costs

Kelly Holleran Nov. 5, 2009, 8:28am

A Beaumont physicians group has filed suit against a local doctor, alleging he failed to reimburse the group for money it spent helping him establish a practice.

Diagnostic Group of Southeast Texas claims Dr. Kenneth D. Wilgers signed an agreement on July 1, 2007, in which Diagnostic Group promised to provide office space and medical equipment for him. The group also agreed to share common overhead costs with Wilgers and maintain a staff common to all doctors, according to the complaint filed Oct. 28 in Jefferson County District Court.

In return, Wilgers and other doctor members of the group pledged to pay a portion of common costs.

"As the medical doctors would incur expenses in their practice, the various venders would bill the Plaintiff Group LLC," the suit states. "The Plaintiff Group LLC would pay the bill and the members of the Plaintiff Group LLC would reimburse the Plaintiff Group LLC for their portion of the expense paid by the Plaintiff Group LLC."

After Wilgers agreed to the contract, the Diagnostic Group states it incurred debt to furnish his office. Wilgers also established a line of credit so services he provided would be billed to Diagnostic Group, the complaint says.

On Feb. 6, Diagnostic Group demanded Wilgers pay $201,143.91, which it claims it was due under Wilgers' line of credit.

At first, Wilgers gave a partial payment, but asked Diagnostic Group to wait before depositing the check. By the time Diagnostic Group finally attempted to deposit Wilgers' check, it claims Wilgers had placed a stop payment on it, according to the complaint.

Since then, Wilgers has refused to pay the Diagnostic Group the money it says it is owed, the suit states. In addition, he removed property from his office that had been provided by the Diagnostic Group, the complaint says.

Diagnostic Group's allegations against Wilgers include conversion, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud.

In the four-count suit, Diagnostic Group is seeking actual and exemplary damages, costs, attorney's fees, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

It will be represented by William H. Conley of Conley and Schexnaider in Beaumont.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: D185-228.

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