Physician shareholders awarded $3.5M+ in lawsuit against 2 former practice presidents

Mid-Continent Anesthesiology was awarded more than $3.5 million after a jury found its two former presidents didn't disclose their compensation or provide sufficient evidence that they were fairly paid, The Wichita Eagle reports.

The Wichita, Kan.-based practice's physician shareholders filed a lawsuit against former presidents Gerard Bassell, MD, and Robert McKay, MD, in 2018, according to the Eagle.

Dr. Bassell, who was Mid-Continent Anesthesiology's president for about 15 years, and Dr. McKay, who served as treasurer, were accused of converting assets and concealing them as compensation, bonuses or administrative salaries.

The suit also alleged that the pair intimidated or threatened shareholders who asked to see the practice's financial data.

The alleged misappropriation of funds was discovered when Mid-Continent discontinued its business with Surgicare of Wichita and "the budget wouldn't work," Mid-Continent's attorney said.

After a jury found Drs. Bassell and McKay guilty of conspiracy to misappropriate more than $3.5 million and awarded that amount to Mid-Continent Anesthesiology's physician shareholders, Dr. Bassell's attorney said would appeal the verdict to address "substantial legal issues." Dr. McKay's attorney didn't return the Eagle's calls for comment.

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