What Connecticut Employees Need to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine

Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti Files Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Against Westwood Ear, Nose & Throat

Feb 9 2021

This News post is modified from an article that appeared in the Connecticut Law Tribune on February 10, 2021.

Dr. Larry Marcus – a Board-certified otolaryngologist (or “ENT”) for nearly 40 years – filed a lawsuit today against his former employer, Westwood Ear, Nose & Throat, P.C. of Waterbury, Litchfield, and Shelton, which is owned by Dr. Christopher Loughlin.

The Complaint – which was filed in Connecticut Superior Court in the Judicial District of Waterbury at docket number UWY-CV-21-6058736-S – brings claims for wrongful termination and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

Dr. Marcus contends that he was terminated from Westwood in July 2020 because he refused to join in Dr. Loughlin’s campaign to pad Westwood’s coffers by performing surgeries that Westwood’s patients did not need. Specifically, according to Dr. Marcus, Dr. Loughlin and his then-partner pushed their patients toward expensive balloon sinuplasty procedures at a much higher rate than Dr. Marcus believed was indicated or effective. Accordingly, whereas Dr. Marcus recommended invasive balloon procedures for fewer than 30% of his new patients, he says that Dr. Loughlin’s rate hovered around 60% and his then-partner’s around 75%, with substantially higher numbers in Westwood’s Litchfield office (where most patients had private insurance) than in its Waterbury office (where Medicaid – which reimburses physicians at lower rates – was more prevalent).

Dr. Marcus says that Westwood’s practice manager approached him to describe the disparity in the physicians’ balloon surgeries and to exhort Dr. Marcus to increase his number of surgeries. According to Dr. Marcus, when he confronted Dr. Loughlin about the suggestion that he guide his patients toward what he viewed as unnecessary surgeries, Dr. Loughlin responded by coaching Dr. Marcus about how to increase his rate of balloon procedures, including urging Dr. Marcus to stop offering his patients more conservative treatment options. Dr. Marcus says that Dr. Loughlin even encouraged him to manipulate his patients’ records so their insurance companies would approve the unnecessary balloon surgeries. For example, upon information and belief, Dr. Loughlin wrote in his patients’ charts that the patients had tried more conservative treatment options before presenting to Dr. Loughlin, even when they had not. When Dr. Marcus asked Dr. Loughlin about this misleading documentation, Dr. Loughlin allegedly responded, in substance: “The patient wouldn’t be seeing us in the first place if they wanted to try steroids and nasal washes, because they’ve already tried all of that. They’re coming to us as surgical specialists expecting to have surgery done.”

Dr. Marcus asserts that he was terminated for refusing to participate in this practice of Dr. Loughlin’s, which Dr. Marcus considered at best malpractice and at worst outright insurance fraud. Recognizing Dr. Marcus’s objections and his refusal to align his practice with Westwood’s apparent values, Dr. Loughlin allegedly engaged in a concerted attempt to force Dr. Marcus out of the practice. And when that did not work, Dr. Marcus alleges, Dr. Loughlin accused Dr. Marcus of clinical incompetence and falsely terminated him “for cause.”

Connecticut law protects employees from termination because of their refusal to engage in illegal or unethical behavior that violates the public policy of Connecticut or the United States.

Correction: This article previously referred to a defamation claim that Dr. Marcus filed against Westwood and Dr. Loughlin. That claim has been withdrawn.

Share this Post

Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti Files Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Against Westwood Ear, Nose & Throat

About the Author

Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C.

Learn More

You deserve justice. We are here to fight for you.

Let Us Review Your Case

    We will respond to your message promptly. Although we will keep your message strictly confidential, please note that contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.

    Client Experiences

    During a very difficult employment situation, I was referred to Joe Garrison. Recognizing the volatile and time sensitive nature of my employment situation, Mr. Garrison met with me immediately (on the weekend no less). He listened to the details of my case, was able to think through possible creative solutions to offer the employer, and was responsive to my myriad of questions. He understood my concerns about litigation versus settlement, and he worked to find the best resolution possible. I am grateful to have had his support at a very difficult time. —J.C., New Haven, CT

    Ethan Levin-Epstein represented me during a most painful and challenging crisis in my personal and professional life. Seeing me within 24 hours of being referred, his support and advocacy, wisdom and clarity not only resulted in a favorable negotiated outcome for me and for my family, but gave me peace of mind and the courage to recover. I am very grateful to have met Ethan and his team and would refer anyone in need to this haven. — C.L., Guilford, CT

    You will never meet a more knowledgeable and compassionate professional than Steve Fitzgerald. My employment situation was very complex, and Attorney Fitzgerald kept me focused while remaining extremely adept and “thinking on his feet.” Should the need present itself again, I would never seek anyone else’s counsel regarding employment issues. I cannot recommend him highly enough. — J.R., New Haven, CT

    Nina Pirrotti provided outstanding legal advice and was trustworthy, dependable, and responsive. From the start, I was confident that her knowledge and experience would obtain favorable results. On a more personal note, I enjoyed working with her and her staff and felt I was included in every part of the process. The dedication, concern, and interest in me as a client was greatly appreciated, and Nina has earned my highest recommendation. — J.H., Monroe, CT

    I recently found myself in need of a lawyer in handling a dispute with my former employer. I was fortunate to retain Josh Goodbaum as my legal counsel. His legal skills knowledge and professionalism shone through in every step of the process resulting in a very positive result. I highly recommend Josh if you find yourself in need of legal counsel. — S.R., Guilford, CT

    When I go to a lawyer for advice, I am usually anxious, particularly the first meeting. Amanda DeMatteis was clear in describing my options and immediately set me at ease. Realistic assessment is important, and Amanda was clear as to how to set up the case and the direction she felt we should go. I had total confidence in her abilities and knew I was being well represented against a large corporation. More importantly, we were successful! —N.M., Haddam, CT

    Proven Results & Personalized Attention When You Need It Most

    American Law Institute Super Lawyers American College of Trial Lawyers Best Lawyers The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
    Back to Top
    (203) 815-1716