Surgeon sued by Heart Hospital

Surgeon sued by Heart Hospital

Posted In: Uncategorized

Wichita Business Journal by Jerry Siebenmark

Date: Tuesday, October 26, 2004, 2:04pm CDT - Last Modified: Tuesday, October 26, 2004, 2:52pm CDT

Heart surgeon Badr Idbeis is being sued by the specialty hospital he helped establish over allegations that he is attempting to start a competing facility.

That's according to a lawsuit filed Oct. 18 by Kansas Heart Hospital in Sedgwick County District Court, which says Idbeis is "intentionally orchestrating the development of a competing health care facility known as Kansas Medical Center" that is to be located in Andover.

Idbeis, who was co-CEO of the 54-bed heart hospital until February 2003, could not be reached for comment.

Idbeis' attorney, Gary Austerman, says he is surprised by the lawsuit because Kansas Medical Center, which at this stage of the planning process is only an "idea," would have an array of services and not focus specifically on cardiovascular care.

"The intent is to have a general hospital, if it works out and if it's fully developed, with an emergency room and other departments in keeping with a general hospital," Austerman says. "Those terms have specific definitions. There's a distinction between a specialty hospital and a general hospital."

Austerman also says there's no way another specialty hospital could be built in the area because of a federal moratorium on construction of such facilities.

The lawsuit says Idbeis' plans for a competing facility breached his fiduciary duties as a shareholder and stockholder in both Cardiac Health of Wichita Inc. and Cardiac Associates of Wichita Inc., two organizations that were formed to develop and have ownership in KHH.

"By using his knowledge of confidential information of KHH, including the business model and practices of KHH, he has undertaking (sic) to capture for his own benefit the prospective business opportunities that otherwise would be available to KHH," the lawsuit says.

A provision in Cardiac Health's bylaws, the lawsuit says, prohibits its shareholders from having ownership in competing facilities located within 100 miles of the city limits.

Idbeis' stock has been purchased, and he is no longer a shareholder in Cardiac Health, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $225,000.

Austerman says he expects to file an answer, or response, to KHH's lawsuit in the next week.

Click here to read this article online at the Wichita Business Journal.

UPDATE: The lawsuit brought by Kansas Heart Hospital against Dr. Idbeis was successfully upheld in favor of Kansas Heart Hospital by both the Sedgwick County Municipal Court and the State of Kansas Supreme Court.