Surgical center seeks $1M from physicians

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | May 4, 2010

GALVESTON - Alleging an unauthorized transaction was conducted between its managers and competitors, a ambulatory surgery center management and development company has filed suit to recover more than $1 million in losses.

Foundation Surgery Holdings LLC believes its managing physicians and rival Webster Surgical Specialty Hospital Ltd., doing business as Houston Physicians Hospital, and Nueterra Healthcare LLC conspired to siphon more than 80 per cent of its membership holdings and shut down its operating facility in Dickinson late last year.

The suit was filed April 27 in Galveston County District Court.
Foundation Surgery, led by Drs. William J. Capece and Ian J. Reynolds, argues that the entity's managers and a number of its member doctors coordinated to sell all of the group's interests to Webster and establish the hospital as a qualified investor without the plaintiffs' knowledge.

The plaintiffs were not forewarned nor informed by the defendants of the changes nor were they invited to participate in the discussions related to the matter, the suit says.

Court papers add Webster, which is partially owned by Nueterra, had been able to "cherry pick" Foundation Surgery's most productive members for its own operations without having to fairly compensate the plaintiff.

"The purpose of the defendants' secret, covert, and bad faith acts was to enrich themselves, all at the expense of the plaintiffs," the original petition states.

Webster and Nueterra face a total of eight counts of alleged wrongdoing.

Houston attorney Ronald Cohen is representing the plaintiffs.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor.

Case No. 10-cv-1142

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