The American Medical Association and its former chief executive officer settled a lawsuit filed by the CEO in June 2001 charging breach of contract and defamation of character. Terms were not disclosed. E. Ratcliffe "Andy" Anderson Jr. was seeking at least $15 million from the AMA, which fired him 11 days after he filed the suit. As the organization's CEO, Anderson was paid about $650,000 a year in salary and benefits. The settlement averted a trial scheduled to begin in mid-October after being postponed from Sept. 6 as the parties hammered out an agreement. Anderson charged that the AMA board of trustees prevented him from firing a staff attorney who allegedly sold AMA-owned land in Chicago for about $13.5 million below market value. Anderson alleged that the organization's top leaders protected the attorney because he shielded them from blame in an embarrassing, short-lived and costly endorsement deal with home-products manufacturer Sunbeam Corp. in 1997. The AMA vacated the deal and paid Sunbeam $10 million to settle the resulting breach-of-contract lawsuit.
Anderson "remains steadfast in his belief as to the integrity of his actions as the CEO of the AMA," the parties said in a joint statement. "The AMA remains steadfast in its belief as to the appropriateness of actions taken by its board of trustees." -- by Michael Romano