Home E-Weekly May 8, 2018

Doctor, 77, Wins $28 Million Age Discrimination Lawsuit Against Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Published: May 8, 2018

Robert Katz AGE DISCRIMINATION A jury ruled the hospital violated anti-discrimination laws by asking Robert Katz, 77, to resign.

When Robert Katz, MD, noticed that the Cleveland Clinic was actively diverting ENT patients to younger doctors in 2015, he went to HR. After his complaint, he was pressured to retire because "he was not a fit" for the hospital, a lawsuit claims. Dr. Katz moved on to another ENT clinic in Northeast Ohio the following year but not before filing an age discrimination lawsuit.

Dr. Katz was recently awarded a $28 million settlement in a Cuyahoga County court after the jury found the Cleveland Clinic Foundation violated anti-retaliation and age discrimination laws. The clinic has 30 days to appeal the ruling. "Cleveland Clinic does not tolerate discrimination or retaliation. We are disappointed with the jury's verdict and will review the case to determine our next steps," a spokesperson for the clinic told Outpatient Surgery Magazine in an email.

The $26.4 million in punitive damages will have to be reduced since Ohio's tort laws cap punitive damages at twice the compensatory damages which were only $1.95 million. Lawyers for Dr. Katz told cleveland.com that the verdict was a victory saying in an emailed statement: "We hope that [the Cleveland Clinic Foundation] understands from the verdict that its behavior is intolerable."

Lawyers for Dr. Katz did not respond to requests for comment.

JoEllen McBride, PhD

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