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Former Harbor-UCLA chief medical officer files $50-million suit

Dr. Gail V. Anderson Jr., former chief medical officer at Harbor-UCLA, files the lawsuit against two L.A. County health officials who he claims conspired to leak news about his suspension to The Times and other media outlets.

July 11, 2012|By Ashley Powers, Los Angeles Times

The former chief medical officer at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center has filed a $50-million lawsuit against two Los Angeles County health officials who he claimed conspired to leak news about his suspension to The Times and other media outlets.

In August 2011, Dr. Gail V. Anderson Jr. was placed on paid administrative leave from the job he'd held for more than a dozen years. Soon after, The Times and The Daily Breeze published stories about what Anderson's suit called his "humiliating public expulsion," in which he was escorted out of the hospital.

The Times, citing sources familiar with the inquiry, said county health officials were investigating whether Anderson had followed proper procedures in credentialing doctors, a process that verifies whether physicians can safely practice medicine at hospitals. The sources said the county was also looking into Anderson's own credential to treat patients.

In his lawsuit, Anderson alleged that the two county Department of Health Services officials, Dr. Mitchell H. Katz and Dr. Hal Yee Jr., "fabricated and deliberately leaked" that information to the newspapers, thereby making Anderson look like "a criminal and a danger to hospital staff and patients."

"Each and every action of Defendants was carefully and maliciously calculated to injure and damage Dr. Anderson," said his complaint, which was filed last month in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Anderson is also an associate dean at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine.

Katz is the county's director of health services and Yee its chief medical officer. A county spokesman said the department does not comment on ongoing litigation.

ashley.powers@latimes.com

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