Sullivan County Democrat
O n l i n e  E d i t i o n National Award-winning, Family-run Newspaper
  NEWS ARCHIVES Established 1891 Callicoon, New York  
home  |  archives

Dan Hust | Democrat

‘It is regrettable I had to go to court to make this happen.’ Dr. Donald Roth, Liberty Medical Group|

Roth, hospital settle; staying till October

By Dan Hust
FERNDALE — July 30, 2010 — Dr. Donald Roth will remain in Catskill Regional Medical Center’s (CRMC’s) employ a bit longer.
On Wednesday in state Supreme Court in Monticello, the two sides settled their dispute over his firing, agreeing to let Roth serve the remainder of the 120 days specified in the termination section of his employment contract.
Roth was fired by the hospital in late June, and the two subsequently squared off in court over whether or not his contract allowed the hospital to pay him but require his absence for that 120 days, rather than – as Roth argued – paying him while he continued to work.
Complicating matters was that Roth’s practice, the Liberty Medical Group, contracts directly with CRMC and was not being let go. Plus, Roth owns the building – Liberty Professional Plaza in Ferndale – where the hospital leases space for the medical group.
Court documents revealed deep differences over the viability and performance of the group and its medical staff, but those issues were let go by the involved parties as part of the settlement this week.
The agreement gives Roth what he wanted: the ability to work through to October 23. But it also allows to stand the hospital’s without-cause termination of his services.
CRMC’s attorney, William Murphy of the White Plains firm of Bleakley, Platt and Schmidt, declined to comment on why the hospital’s management agreed to these terms, especially since they had alleged in court documents that Roth’s continued presence would undermine their goals with the medical group and allow him to start an independent practice at their expense.
“I’m not going to comment on the terms of the settlement or the motivations behind it,” said Murphy.
CRMC Marketing Director J.P. McGuirk didn’t go into detail either.
“We’re happy the resolution was made jointly,” he said.
So was Marvin Newberg, who with Steve Lungen was representing Roth.
“He [Dr. Roth] wanted to serve his patients and not leave them in the lurch,” remarked Newberg.
The agreement settles all claims between the two sides, he added.
A native of Sullivan County, Roth said yesterday he is pleased his four decades of service to the region as a general practice physician won’t be interrupted.
“It is regrettable I had to go to court to make this happen,” he acknowledged, but he said that caring for his thousands of patients remained his top priority.
And he’s not yet ready to retire, confirming that details of a new practice he’ll open, independent of CRMC, will follow after his October 23 departure.

top of page  |  home  |  archives