The Blankenship Law Firm Announces Press Conference: Washington Physician Receives $2.5 Million Settlement in Case Against Catholic Health Initiatives

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The Blankenship Law Firm, P.S., will hold a press conference in Seattle to announce a settlement of a lawsuit alleging wrongful discharge, business interference, defamation, and malicious prosecution against the second largest non-profit healthcare system in the country, according to its website.

The Blankenship Law Firm announces that Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) and two local Tacoma-based subsidiaries, CHI Franciscan Health and Franciscan Medical Group (FMG), agreed to pay Washington Tacoma physician Ramon Añel $2.5 million to settle his wrongful discharge, defamation, and malicious prosecution lawsuit.

Dr. Añel filed suit on April 11, 2014 in King County Superior Court in Kent, Washington (Cause No. 14-2-10378-6 KNT). Superior Court Judge Richard McDermott granted partial judgment, double damages for wages, and entered orders just prior to trial, including that Defendants CHI, Franciscan Medical Group (FMG), and CHI Franciscan Health “wrongfully and willfully withheld wages due to Dr. Añel.”

This partial Trial Court judgement in Dr. Añel's favor was followed by the negotiation of the substantial seven-figure settlement on the eve of the scheduled trial. CHI also agreed to non-monetary terms, including non-confidentiality.

According to its website, Denver-based CHI is the second largest non-profit health system nationally. It currently operates more than 108 hospitals in 19 states nationwide. In Washington, CHI Franciscan Health owns area hospitals St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way, St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood, St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw, St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor, Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton and Silverdale, Highline Medical Center and Regional Hospital in Burien, and a network of regional primary and specialty clinics.

Dr. Ramon Añel continues to practice nephrology at Key Nephrology, PLLC in the South Sound. He successfully faced off with one of the largest healthcare systems in the United States, and remains optimistic that he can carry on serving his community. As Dr. Añel states, “I am very grateful that my lawyers and the civil justice system allowed me to clear my name. I am especially grateful to my colleagues and patients who came forward to speak the truth."

Scott Blankenship served as lead counsel for Dr. Añel with attorneys Paul Woods, Rick Goldsworthy, and Robin Shishido from The Blankenship Law Firm. The Blankenship Law Firm, P.S., is an AV-rated law firm located in downtown Seattle with lawyers licensed in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. The firm practices in state and federal trial and appellate courts, while practicing primarily employment law and related complex civil litigation with an emphasis in representing physicians, administrators, and other medical providers in all phases of negotiation and litigation.

Seattle Press Conference with lead counsel, Scott Blankenship, and plaintiff, Dr. Ramon Añel, to be held Friday, December 4th at 1:00 P.M. at The Blankenship Law Firm, P.S., 1000 Second Ave., Suite 3250, Seattle, WA 98101; Contact 206-343-2700.

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