Children's Hospital counters lawsuit calling allegations 'baseless'

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Children's Hospital and Medical Center has filed a response to litigation brought by two doctors calling the doctors' allegations "baseless" while further outlining a counter-claim in the matter.

The lawsuit was filed in early January against the hospital; its president and CEO, Dr. Richard G. Azizkhan; and Dr. Adam Conley. In the complaint, Dr. Mark Puccioni, a pediatric neurosurgeon, and plastic surgeon Dr. Jason Miller expressed concerns about Conley's performance and alleged that the hospital, its CEO, and Conley himself disparaged their reputations.

With more than a decade of medical experience between them, the plaintiffs filed the complaint after a tragedy in the operating room, according to their attorney, Tom White.

"Dr. Miller and Dr. Puccioni complained of absolute malpractice that caused the unnecessary death of a child," White said. "Children's had a monetary interest in protecting that physician."

DOCUMENTS: Read the complaint | Read the response

In a response filed Wednesday, Children's stated:

"We appreciate the patience and support shown by our patients, their families, the community and especially our employees as we developed our responses to these allegations. It takes time to respond appropriately and completely in such a situation. The filing offers details to categorically deny the baseless accusations made previously by Drs. Miller and Puccioni.

"For those familiar with the events in question, the unfounded nature of these allegations was clear from the beginning. However, in litigation, patient confidentiality and personnel matters, there are policies and regulations which must be followed that prevent us from sharing information – although we would like that information to be known publicly.

"We appreciate you sharing this information with the community to balance the public conversation that has been, up to this point, directed by the plaintiffs’ baseless accusations. We hope this information will reassure patients, families and colleagues that our 70-year foundation of high-quality care and safety never faltered."