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<br>Outpatient Surgery Magazine Digital Edition
<br>Home > News > January, 2012
<br>ASC Sale Brings $8.8M Verdict for Slighted Physician-Investor
<br>Partners convinced him to sell by lying about center's Medicare approval.
<br>Published: January 27, 2012
<br>Category: Surgical Facility Administration > Legal & Regulatory
<br>A California jury has awarded $8.8 million in damages to a physician-investor whose partners in an ASC venture tricked him out of his share of the center's
<br>Daniel Taheri, MD, co-owned a dermatology practice with when the pair decided to open the Thousand Oaks Surgery Center. brought in anesthesiologist and pain
<br>management practitioner , as a third partner.
<br>While the new facility won accreditation and eventually gained Medicare's approval, told Dr. Taheri that it had failed to meet Medicare's standards and could not
<br>function as a surgery center. The center would be worthless to the physicians, he said, but Dr. Hersel would be able to use the space for other purposes. to join
<br>him in selling his shares in the venture to at a loss.
<br>Dr. Hersel bought the partners out. Six months later, repurchased 50% of the center without telling Dr. Taheri, who learned 2 years after investment that the
<br>center had been open, and wildly profitable, all along. Dr. Taheri sued and Hersel and the center for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.
<br>In his response to the lawsuit, explained that he'd reinvested in the center only to keep it afloat. Pre-trial investigations revealed, however, that his cash had
<br>gone into Dr. Hersel's pockets, as the center had $200,000 in its coffers and had turned a $16 million profit in its first 3 years.
<br>also argued that had been required to sell his shares in the center due to a disciplinary agreement he'd signed with Blue Cross of California over billing
<br>discrepancies. Dr. Taheri blamed the billing issues on Dr. Khadavi, however, and noted that the insurer's agreement only required him to stop practicing with Dr.
<br>Khadavi, not to drop his ownership shares.
<br>The trial jury ordered the defendants to jointly pay $8 million in compensatory damages, reflecting his lost earnings in the center. It also ordered in punitive
<br>damages. These awards were upheld on appeal.
<br>attorney declined comment. did not respond to requests for comment.
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