St. Louis Record

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Former surgical resident sues University of Missouri over ouster from program


By Sam Knef | Jul 4, 2018

Medical malpractice 06

SPRINGFIELD – A former neurosurgery resident at University of Missouri School of Medicine claims he was treated unfairly and inequitably, particularly by the program director, and has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Central Division seeking at least $50 million in damages.

Rylan Brantl, M.D., currently employed by Heart of America Medical Center in Rugby, North Dakota, claims in his suit that problems began when he and other residents complained about violations of rules that clinical and educational hours worked must be limited to 80 hours per week.

Brantl, represented by George S. Smith of Columbia, claims that program director Dr. N. Scott Litofsky had created a hostile work environment and terminated his residency in the fifth year of a six-year residency program, in spite of meeting program requirements.

He was in the program from July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2013, the suit states.

The suit, naming the Curators of the University of Missouri as the defendant, further claims that his performance was frequently reviewed while he was performing other services, not on surgical rotation.

"Many performance reviews by the University of Missouri attendings were completed with poor evaluations of Dr. Brantl during periods when he was not rotating with them on their service; in other words, the attending physician had not been with Dr. Brantl during clinical practice to allow for any supervision or evaluation," the suit states.

Brantl's three-count suit seeks $20 million for lost past and potential future income and $30 million for harm to his professional reputation and potential for future advancement as a neurosurgeon.

His suit is based on allegations of breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing and promissory estoppel.

Among other things, Brantl claims the university failed to provide him opportunity to respond or remediate any deficiencies in his performance, and failed to apply the same criteria and standards to him that it applied to other successful surgical residents.

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U.S. District Court of the Western District of Missouri Jefferson City DivisionU.S. District Court of the Western District of Missouri Springfield Division

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