2 doctors sue ex-colleagues, allege bias because of color

November 12, 1993|By Robert A. Erlandson | Robert A. Erlandson,Staff Writer

Two black physicians are suing the members of a group with which they formerly practiced, alleging that they suffered financial and professional discrimination because of their race.

Dr. Steven W. Tucker, whose office is now at the Good Samaritan Professional Building, and Dr. Charles Foreman, now practicing in Atlanta, filed the suit last month against Clinical Associates, P.A., and its 41 director members. Clinical Associates' corporate office is in Towson. The plaintiffs are seeking $4.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

The suit accuses Clinical Associates of conspiring against the black doctors "to prevent them from enjoying the identical financial growth as enjoyed by white physicians." The two doctors claim that minority physicians were held to higher professional standards than were their white counterparts.

The two obstetrician-gynecologists also complained to the Maryland Human Relations Commission and the Federal Equal Employment Opportunities Commission.

Last week, Leonard E. Cohen and Deborah T. Carren of Piper and Marbury, representing Clinical Associates, which has offices Woodlawn as well as in Towson, moved to transfer the case to U.S. District Court.

The civil rights issues raised by the physicians and Claudia Barber of Laurel, their lawyer, are federal matters, said Mr. Cohen.

Ms. Barber and Dr. Tucker declined to comment on specifics of the suit when they met with a reporter. Dr. Foreman also withheld comment. "The document speaks for itself," Ms. Barber said.

Other minority physicians worked at Clinical Associates, according to the suit, but Ms. Barber and Dr. Tucker would not comment on whether those physicians were equally dissatisfied with their employment.

The suit asserts at one point that, "Among the physicians, discrimination has always been a tacitly accepted fact of employment at Clinical Associates." Ms. Barber declined to elaborate.

Mr. Cohen said that Clinical Associates denies all wrongdoing.

"Drs. Tucker and Foreman were treated fairly," he said.

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