Oral surgeon slaps practice partner with $1M lawsuit

Lawsuit Attorney Gavel Scale

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon has filed a $1 million lawsuit in New York against a fellow clinician and practice partner, seeking to end their business relationship, according to a story published on June 10 in the Westfair Business Journal.

Dr. Michael Graffeo is accusing fellow oral surgeon Dr. Harrison Linsky of seizing corporate opportunities and engaging in bad acts and willful omissions that have resulted in complaints from patients, referring clinicians, and employees. They each own 50% of Westchester Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Implantology in Purchase, NY, and Southern Connecticut Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Implantology in Stamford, CT, according to the story.

Graffeo is seeking $1 million for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and usurpation of corporate opportunities. On top of that, Graffeo wants the court to dissolve their New York practice and disassociate Linsky from the one in Connecticut.

In the lawsuit filed on May 30 in the Westchester Supreme Court, Graffeo alleged that the trouble between the partners ignited in 2020 when Linsky purportedly began using their practice equipment and practice rooms to conduct independent exams of individuals for insurance companies and attorneys without earning revenue for their businesses, according to the story.

Additionally, Graffeo accused Linsky of pursuing other nonbusiness, personal matters during regular dental practice hours, leaving him to handle managerial and most surgical and medical duties. Furthermore, Graffeo claimed that when Linsky did work on behalf of their practices, he was incompetent. Also, Graffeo accused his partner of mistreating employees and creating a toxic work environment, according to the story.

Graffeo, who claimed that these factors have come at the detriment of his duties as a clinician, accused Linsky of continuing to receive 50% of the practices' net income, as well as compensation and other employment-related benefits despite decreasing his workload for the businesses.

Finally, Graffeo claimed that Linsky's inability to work together on necessary management decisions in addition to his refusal to discuss or negotiate matters has left them at a stalemate and unable to continue practicing under the current partnership, according to the story. 

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