A Sioux City, Iowa-based anesthesiologist, Dale Klein, MD, who was fired from MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center in December 2021, is alleging in a lawsuit that he was blacklisted by the hospital's administrators to prevent him from getting another job, SiouxCity Journal reported Sept. 1.
Dr. Klein alleges he wasn't hired for a job in Clinton, Iowa, because he was placed on a no-hire list by MercyOne. According to the suit, Dr. Klein said he has not been able to secure a permanent job in Iowa and his past and future damages exceed $500,000. He is seeking triple his damages.
Dr. Klein entered an employment agreement with Mercy Medical Services in March 2021 and began working as an anesthesiologist the following month. After his hiring, the suit alleges, he began voicing concerns to executives about what he said was unsafe care of surgical patients. Dr. Klein alleges he was fired Dec. 17, 2021, and told by the hospital's president it was "for convenience."
According to the suit, in September 2021, he saw a nurse anesthetist texting in an operating room while a patient had a bent endotracheal tube causing high airway pressure and incorrect ventilator settings.
A MercyOne spokeswoman told SiouxCity Journal the hospital could not comment on the lawsuit.
"MercyOne is committed to the well-being of our patients and our colleagues. We are unable to provide further comment on an ongoing legal matter," Michelle Kuester, MercyOne communications lead for Western Iowa, said in an emailed statement to SiouxCity Journal.