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$2 Million Verdict Against UC Regents

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GBW $2 Million Verdict Against UC Regents for Whistleblower Retaliation

SANTA ANA, Calf. (April 23, 2019)— An Orange County jury found The UC Regents and the former Dean of the School of Medicine responsible for violating whistleblower protection laws against a neurosurgeon who filed a grievance through the UC Irvine Academic Senate against his supervisors which involved concerns over abuse of power, economic waste, violations of UC policy and patient safety and quality of patient care. On Monday, the plaintiff Mark Linskey, M.D., a tenured full professor at the UC Irvine School of Medicine and the former Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery, obtained a $2 million judgment for damages.

The lawsuit involved the former Dean, Ralph Clayman, M.D. and the former Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery who together, pushed to have Dr. Linskey moved out from his home department of Neurosurgery and switched to the Department of General Surgery.

Evidence at trial exposed how the school’s Neurosurgery Department was more concerned with increasing the volume of patients instead of quality of care. Attorneys argued that when Dr. Linskey raised concerns about patient safety due to evidence of poor surgical outcomes and unnecessary procedures, he was punished.

“Instead of doing the right thing, the university went after the whistleblower which is baffling to me,” said lead plaintiff lawyer Mark Quigley. “Our client exposed these, and other violations and was unfairly punished for speaking out,” added Quigley.

Over the course of the nearly month long trial, the plaintiff’s legal team outlined how the UC Regents retaliated against Dr. Linskey by getting him kicked out of the neurosurgery department and being cut off from all resident teaching contact. Clayman went to the highest levels of the university, including the Chancellors and the CEO, in an attempt to move Dr. Linskey out of the Department of Neurosurgery.

“Our client suffered damage to his professional reputation and standing within the UC Irvine community and the national academic neurosurgery community,” said plaintiff attorney Ivan Puchalt. “This verdict holds the medical school and the UC Regents accountable for failing to protect an employee from this kind of workplace retaliation,” added Puchalt.

Former Dean Ralph Clayman had previously undergone investigation by the OC Register in a “O.C. Watchdog” investigatory piece January 2014 headlined, “Ex-UCI Doctors: Whistleblowing Drew Retribution”. Mike Baker of the Seattle Times won the prestigious Selden Ring journalism award in 2018 for investigating the former Chair of neurosurgery at UC Irvine for subsequent behavior at Seattle’s Swedish-Cherry Hill Hospital in a series entitled, “Quantity of Care” that led to resignations as well as patient care reforms at that hospital.

  • Best Law Firms by US News
    Best Law Firms by US News

    Named in U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms,” Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP ranks as Tier 1 Personal Injury and Product Liability firm in Los Angeles.

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    Super Lawyers®

    Our firm has more attorneys on the Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars lists than any other law firm in Southern California, with 15 members selected.

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    American Board of Trial Advocates

    Several of our partners are members in the American Board of Trial Advocates, a national invite-only association consisting of the most experienced trial lawyers.

  • The Inner Circle of Advocates
    The Inner Circle of Advocates

    Founding partners Browne Greene and Bruce A. Broillet are both members of the exclusive invite-only Inner Circle of Advocates, as two of the top 100 plaintiff trial lawyers in America.

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    LACBA

    All of our attorneys are proud to be active members of the Los Angeles County Bar Association or LACBA.

  • Consumer Attorneys of California
    Consumer Attorneys of California

    Many firm members have been honored by the Consumer Attorneys of California, including Browne Greene, Christine Spagnoli, and Bruce Broillet, recipients of the Marvin E. Lewis Award. In addition, attorneys Bruce Broillet, Scott Carr, Molly McKibben, and Tobin Lanzetta has been honored with the Consumer Attorney of the Year Award.

  • International Society of Barristers
    International Society of Barristers

    Our team includes several Fellows and Associates with the invite-only International Society of Barristers in recognition of their trial advocacy.

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    International Academy of Trial Lawyers

    Bruce A. Broillet and Christine D. Spagnoli are Fellows with the invite-only International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a group of elite trial lawyers from over 30 countries.

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    CAALA

    Several partners are active members in the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, with attorneys Browne Greene, Bruce Broillet, and Christine Spagnoli named “Trial Lawyer of the Year."

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    Firm partners Christine D. Spagnoli and Molly McKibben have both been honored by the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and are active members.

  • America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators
    America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators

    As a member of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®, founding partner Bruce Broillet joins a select group of California lawyers. Only 0.5% of active attorneys in the United States receive this honor.

  • American College of Trial Lawyers
    American College of Trial Lawyers

    A preeminent trial lawyers’ organization in North America, the American College of Trial Lawyers have elected firm partners Bruce Broillet, Mark Quigley, and Geoffrey Wells as Fellows.

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