N.J. Physician Drops Suit Against Medical Society Over Reform Politics

August 17, 2005

A Hudson County physician who filed a lawsuit against the Medical Society of New Jersey, claiming it and other doctors had conspired to destroy his practice, dropped the suit after two days into a trial.

“We opted to dismiss the case for a number of reasons not related to the merits of the case,” said Santos A. Perez, an attorney for Dr. George Ciechanowski.

The lawsuit was dropped last Thursday.

Ciechanowski’s suit, filed in 2003, claimed other doctors had boycotted his practice because of his support for a medical malpractice reform plan they opposed. He sought to stop the medical society from advising doctors to boycott his practice.

“We have been vindicated and proven right,” Robert Conroy, general counsel for the medical society, said in a prepared statement.

Also named in the suit was the Hudson County Medical Society and its president, Dr. Steven Shikiar.

Ciechanowski claimed Shikiar sent an e-mail to other doctors suggesting that Ciechanowski would be targeted for not supporting the reforms endorsed by the medical society.

Ciechanowski, a well known pulmonologist, had been criticized for lending his name and image to campaign material distributed by Consumers for Civil Justice, a group opposed to limits on jury awards. The limits were the key reform being sought by the Medical Society of New Jersey.

Ciechanowski was ousted as chief of staff at Christ Hospital in Jersey City in November 2003.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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