The University of Illinois has reached a $2.5 million deal in a bid to settle three lawsuits filed by a whistleblower who accused the university's Chicago medical center of fraud in its transplant program.
The three lawsuits were brought by Raymond Pollak, M.D., the 54-year-old former chief of transplant surgery at the medical center who publicly accused the facility in 1999 of improperly diagnosing some patients to make them eligible for transplants. Pollak alleged that the hospital's actions were meant to boost the number of transplant patients and to thereby increase profits. After broaching his concerns, Pollak claims he was removed as head of the transplant program in 1998 and his salary was cut from $280,000 to $120,000.
The University of Illinois' board of trustees was scheduled to vote on the settlement deal Wednesday.
According to the settlement, in which the school continues to deny any wrongdoing, Pollak would end legal action against the school and would no longer work for the university.
After Pollak's accusations were made public in 1999, federal and state authorities sued and the medical center agreed to pay $2.5 million in 2003 to settle. Pollak received about $500,000 in that settlement, under which the school also denied any wrongdoing.