Former patients drop claim on Solomon's pension

May 20, 1994|By Frank D. Roylance | Frank D. Roylance,Sun Staff Writer

Dr. Neil Solomon has won a round in his bid to protect his $1.5 million retirement nest egg from three former patients who sued him last summer alleging he lured them into sexual relationships while in his care.

In U.S. Bankruptcy Court yesterday, attorneys for the three women gave up their effort to prove that Dr. Solomon had improperly established a $234,000 individual retirement account. Had they succeeded, the money could have been figured into Dr. Solomon's payments toward their damage claims against him.

Dr. Solomon's pension account appears to have been "properly established," said Charles Schaefer, an attorney for the former patients.

"It is unfortunate that Maryland law allows professionals to exempt such large amounts of assets from deserving creditors," he said.

"My response to that," said Dr. Solomon's attorney, Alan M. Grochal, "is . . . 'Write to your legislators.' "

In a separate, statement, Mr. Grochal described Dr. Solomon as "gratified" that his opponents had withdrawn their challenge. "We have maintained from the beginning that this is a lawsuit driven by money and publicity," he said.

Dr. Solomon filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection Sept. 20, about seven weeks after three former patients and the husband of one sued him in Baltimore Circuit Court seeking $140 million in damages.

To protect their privacy, the court sealed the plaintiffs' names. Their suits in state court were automatically suspended when Dr. Solomon filed for bankruptcy.

On Oct. 27, a state panel permanently took Dr. Solomon's medical license after he admitted to having sex with at least eight patients in the past 20 years. He has also acknowledged his liability to the plaintiffs.

Under Maryland law, any assets held jointly by a husband and wife are exempt from Chapter 13 bankruptcy claims, as are most retirement savings. By filing for bankruptcy protection, Dr. Solomon has so far been able to shield most of his $2.2 million in assets from his accusers.

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