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Lawsuit: MUSC doctors using confidential info to develop cancer facility at Trident Medical Center

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 4:49 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2021 at 7:51 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials with the Medical University of South Carolina say they are seeking to stop six of its departing doctors from using confidential information to develop a cancer treatment facility at Trident Medical Center.

Lawyers for MUSC filed an injunction on Monday against HCA Healthcare Inc., the owner of Trident, along with MUSC doctors Terry Day, Betsy Kay Davis, Joshua D. Hornig, Eric J. Lentsch, David M. Neskey and Anand K. Sharma.

MUSC requested a hearing on or before Dec. 1, the day after the physicians’ last day at the healthcare network, on the injunction which prohibits them from using what MUSC claims is confidential and proprietary information that they might use in connection with the Trident facility.

“We are extremely pleased these physicians have chosen Trident Medical Center as their hospital of choice,” said officials with Trident Medical Center in a statement. “We look forward to working with them to open our program on December 1. We will vigorously defend ourselves against the allegations made by MUSC and will continue to keep our focus on providing world class care to head and neck cancer patients.”

The lawsuit filed against the doctors state their plans included the departure of physicians, nurses, technicians, staff, and fellows at MUSC’s Head and Neck Oncology (HNO) Division in order to establish a head and neck cancer practice at Trident.

Lawyers say the doctor’s actions would also cripple MUSC’s HNO’s division’s ability to compete with Trident.

All the physicians named in the suit are part of the HNO division which provides treatment for cancers located in the head and neck, a process which MUSC claims Trident never had the capability to treat since they say they lack the necessary information, facilities, and instruments for the complex surgeries, saying it would take them 8 to 10 years to develop the process.

The suit states that the six MUSC doctors violated various duties and laws in order to facilitate the creation of the cancer center at Trident with Day planning the doctors’ exodus as well as the misappropriation of MUSC’s confidential information.

“On information and belief, the Physicians acted in concert, with each other and with HCA and Trident, to engage in unlawful conduct and lawful conduct using unlawful means to effectuate their overall plan and scheme to the injury of MUSC and UMA, as well as directly harming the HNO Division and the HNO Fellowship Program,” the suit states.

Lawyers claim that Day obtained case logs for the past three years with intentions to provide that information to HCA. In addition, the suit states that Davis attempted to obtain MUSC’s patient lists, and also obtained information on MUSC’s funding on its HNO center in order to provide that information to HCA.

MUSC has also claimed in the suit that Neskey obtained signed contracts for fellows in MUSC’s HNO program and intended to use that information to compete with the healthcare network.

Officials with MUSC released the following statement:

MUSC does not comment on pending litigation; the public filing will stand as our commentary on this matter, at this time.

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