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Feud between Cedars-Sinai and surgeon puts focus on patient safety

Los Angeles Times, April 6, 2010

After doctors in Florida failed to remove his deep-seated brain tumor, Marc Kotolnick traveled to Los Angeles to see Dr. Hrayr Shahinian, a surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. But when a delicate pair of forceps failed, the surgeon aborted the operation. There was no functioning spare set on hand. The May 2005 incident resulted in a lawsuit, which Cedars-Sinai resolved in a confidential settlement. The case, however, was part of a wider problem: A long-running conflict between hospital administrators and Shahinian culminated in its own lawsuit after he stopped working there in late 2005. An arbitrator in that case ruled last November that the hospital had forced him out by improperly restricting his ability to perform surgeries, the Los Angeles Times reports.