Poliner v. Presbyterian
Peer Review Case Involving a Doctor Who Was Unfairly Targeted
Dr. Larry Poliner was a seasoned and respected cardiologist in Dallas with nearly 30 years of experience in treating heart problems. But when he had the audacity to leave a large doctor group and start up his own practice, he became a target.
He was a competitor to the other doctors, who, like Dr. Poliner, treated patients at Presbyterian Hospital. Suddenly they had concerns about his abilities. They brought complaints about how he handled some heart cases to the hospital’s peer review committee—which was also comprised of his competitors. The committee cut off Dr. Poliner’s privileges at Presbyterian, severely damaging his practice.
Dr. Poliner had his day in court, however. A federal court jury in Dallas awarded him one of the top 10 largest verdicts in 2004. The verdict sent a message that malicious, anti-competitive behavior was illegal and wrong.
Tough Advocacy from the Seasoned Dallas Trial Lawyers at Aldous \ Walker
On appeal, a court set aside the damages award. Even so, a jury had vindicated him. And his story and legal battle set off a national debate about fairness and doctor peer review within hospitals. The result was a strengthening of the rules so that peer review in a hospital is focused on patient care—not politics and economic gain.