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Court Rules New Anesthesiologists Group Can Start At Atrium On Time

Atrium Health, formerly known as Carolinas HealthCare System, is having a dispute with the Mecklenburg Medical Group.
Zuri Berry

A new group of anesthesiologists will start at Atrium Health hospitals July 1 as planned after a bitter court fight and public battle with the outgoing group of physicians. 

The outgoing group, Mednax, had asked a judge for a preliminary injunction to stop the new doctors from starting next month. Atrium ended its contract with Mednax and its subsidiary Southeast Anesthesiology Consultants in January. 

Mednax accused Dr. Tom Wherry, the founder of the new doctors group Scope Anesthesia of North Caorlina, of obtaining and using confidential business information to get the contract with Atrium. The court denied that request.

Mednax said in a statement the decision doesn't deter it from continuing to pursue the case. Judge Michael Robinson did rule that Wherry and Atrium can't recruit doctors from Mednax until the end of their non-compete agreements in July 2019. The nearly 90 doctors that work for Mednax can’t continue working for Atrium because of the provisions in their contracts.  Atrium said in a statement it will respect that ruling, but regrets that Mednax won't release doctors from their contracts so they can continue working at Atrium facilities.  

The doctors' group had worked at Atrium facilities for 37 years.