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Supreme Court tosses doctor's breach of contract lawsuit

law_webJACKSON — The Mississippi Supreme Court has thrown out a $2.27-million judgment for a doctor in a breach of contract lawsuit.

The court ordered a new hearing in Hinds County on the issue of damages.

Dr. Adolfo Morales, an ophthalmologist, had alleged Central Mississippi Medical Center breached a physician recruitment contract in 2004, which would have allowed him to establish a surgery practice in Jackson.

A Hinds County jury ruled for Morales in 2011.

CMMC argued there was no contract. It said its parent company, Health Management Associates Inc., had undergone a change in management and did not approve the deal.

Morales said HMA’s acts created a severe black mark or “gap” in his resume, causing him to remain unemployed for more than three years and prevented him from performing surgery for almost five years.

The Supreme Court said sufficient evidence was presented to support the jury’s determination that a binding contract was formed between Morales and Jackson HMA.

Where the jury erred, the Supreme Court said, was in relying on a physician compensation survey presented by Morales to support his damages arguments. The Supreme Court said the document did not show whether the compensation survey represented gross or net income.

The Supreme Court said the compensation survey was insufficient to support the jury’s $2.27-million verdict for Morales.

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