USERRA Plaintiff Again Rebuffed On Injunction Request

June 2, 2005 ( - A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling that a doctor is not entitled to a preliminary injunction barring a Chicago university from firing him, despite allegations the terminations violated federal law.

>The US 7 th Circuit Court of Appeal upheld a ruling by US District Judge John Grady of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois that plaintiff Carlos Bedrossian had not proven that irreparable harm would result if he did not receive his requested court injunction against being fired.

>As did Grady, the appeals court rebuffed Bedrossian’s assertions that the two federal statutes under which he sued Northwestern University – the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and the False Claims Act (FCA) – did not require the usual “irreparable harm” showing in order to get an injunction issued.

>Bedrossian, a cytopathologist, was hired by Northwestern in 1997 as a professor at its Feinberg School of Medicine and as cytopathology service director for Northwestern Memorial Hospital. According to the appeals court opinion, Bedrossian had a five-year appointment that was extended for a year and that the physician was informed it would not be likewise extended beyond August 2003.

>Bedrossian then sued the employer, claiming that the non-renewal violated USERRA (Bedrossian was also a US Air Force Reserve Medical Corps colonel and spent two weeks a year lecturing and a weekend providing medical services to military personnel) and the FCA because he had accused the hospital of fraudulent billing practices.

>Bedrossian’s suit claimed the university did not renew his appointment because of its contempt for his military service and as a way to retaliate for his fraudulent billing practices accusation.

>The opinion in Bedrossian v. Northwestern Memorial Hospital, 7th Cir., No. 03-3683, 5/31/05 is  here .