Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.


Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.

Fired doctor sues county, loses whistleblower claim

Friday, October 12, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
by Jordyn Reiland

Fired doctor sues county, loses whistleblower claim

By Jordyn Reiland Law Bulletin staff writer
Posted October 12, 2018 10:02 AM

A jury found in favor of Cook County Health and Hospitals System after a former hospital employee, a doctor, claimed he was wrongly fired over complaints he made concerning patient care.

The defense verdict was reached Tuesday after a six-day trial before Cook County Associate Judge Thomas R. Mulroy Jr. Plaintiff attorneys asked the jury for more than $9 million in damages for lost wages, emotional distress and damage to their client’s reputation as a result of his termination.

Plaintiff Mohammad Vaseemuddin worked as an emergency room physician at south suburban Oak Forest Hospital until it closed and was converted in August 2011 to Oak Forest Health Center. At that time, the emergency room became an immediate care clinic.

Once Vaseemuddin made the transition he began sharing complaints with hospital management about “poor patient care due to cost-cutting measures that left patients without adequate care,” according to the complaint.

When Vaseemuddin did not feel the complaints were addressed he brought the issues to a union representative in March 2012. Vaseemuddin’s concerns were sent up the chain of command, which included system CEO of Cook County Health and Hospital Systems Dr. Rama Raju and the chairman of the SEIU Local Unit 73 Chair Christine Boardman.

Concerns included understaffing and an incident where a patient went unnoticed by staff in the immediate care area and was later found unresponsive in a janitor’s closet, according to the complaint.

Vaseemuddin contended the patient’s death could have been avoided had the immediate care center been properly staffed.

After the incident, Vaseemuddin contacted the Cook County Sheriff’s Office to report the death and lack of proper management.

While he made the complaints to his superiors and the sheriff’s office, Vaseemuddin alleged he was harassed by being given more patients than he could handle, was put on the schedule on days he had previously indicated he could not work and was falsely accused of being tardy.

In January 2013, Vaseemuddin applied for a position at Provident Hospital of Cook County, was offered the job and planned to start orientation on May 31, according to the complaint.

A month before orientation was set to begin Vaseemuddin told his supervisor his wife was pregnant and he would take Family Medical Leave Act time off. He said he would return Aug. 3, 2013. On May 9, 2013, Vaseemuddin found out the offer for the job at Provident had been rescinded.

Shortly before his leave was set to end Vaseemuddin asked to take a few weeks of vacation and then personal leave for several months thereafter. Both requests were denied by his supervisor.

Around the same time, Vaseemuddin signed a full-time contract with a physicians group that had privileges at Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park and was set to begin working May 1, according to defense attorney Heather D. Erickson, of Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman LLP.

It was not immediately clear as to why Vaseemuddin did not resign from his position with the county.

Vaseemuddin filed a grievance with his union representative two weeks before he was set to return to work. His union representative told him to return to work at the end of his scheduled leave and to continue to do so until the issue was resolved.

Erickson said he was told to return to work several times by his supervisor and his union representative but failed to do so.

Two disciplinary hearings were held and in October 2013 it was recommended Vaseemuddin be terminated. He was terminated Dec. 4.

Vaseemuddin initially filed a federal lawsuit against the county and its hospital system in April 2014 but the case was dismissed in July 2015 and refiled in Cook County Circuit Court.

The Cook County suit alleged common law retaliatory discharge, violation of the Illinois Whistleblower Act, breach of contract and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage counts against the defendants.

Vaseemuddin argued at trial he was fired in retaliation for the complaints he made to his supervisors and the sheriff’s office in 2012 about patient care.

The county contended he was let go because he refused to return to work in August 2013 when he was scheduled to do so. As to the tortious interference claim, Erickson said they argued there can not be interference if there is no third-party and both Provident and the hospital where Vaseemuddin worked are in the same Cook County system.

Prior to trial the county, Vaseemuddin rejected a $250,000 settlement offer from the county.

Erickson said the defense verdict “was a very successful victory for the county.”

The county was also represented by Manuel “Manny” Sanchez of Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman LLP.

Vaseemuddin was represented by John C. Kreamer and Joseph E. Urani of Kreamer Law Group LLC in Naperville. They could not be reached for comment.

The case is Mohammad Vaseemuddin v. County of Cook, et al., 16 L 3996.

Recent Headlines

Nearly a century after a brutal murder, Chicago’s only lynching victim gets memorial
Thursday, March 21, 2019
The Grio

Recovery Behind Bars: Cook County Jail’s Opioid Treatment Program
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Medill Reports

Judge: Labor unions don't owe non-union state workers refunds, despite unconstitutional fees
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Cook County record

The language of justice: Court interpreters fight for client rights and their rights in Cook County
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Medill Reports

Cook County General Hospital's $90-Million Redevelopment Saves a Chicago Icon
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Engineering News Rec ord

Preckwinkle sends out harassment survey to staff after harassment controversy in her office
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Land Title Association Granted Summary Judgment in Case against Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Illinois State Bar Association

Grand Jury Indicts Debt Collector of Bribing Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown
Friday, March 15, 2019
WBBM Chicago

Indictment: Cook County's hired debt collector charged with bribing county officials to secure county contract
Friday, March 15, 2019
Cook County record

Karen Chavers Honored as 2019 Unsung Heroine
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Special to

Pappas to announce deadline for Cook County property owners to pay late taxes
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Courts Cause Confusion For Woman Trying To Resolve Her Case
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
CBS Chicago

Census changes raise fears of Illinois undercounting
Monday, March 11, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Warns of Apple Phone Scam
Monday, March 11, 2019

Caller poses as Apple to get victims personal info in scam targeting Cook County residents
Monday, March 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

Should Young Adults Be Sent To Juvenile Courts?
Sunday, March 10, 2019
NPR Radio

Cook County Jail hires 2nd consecutive mental health professional as warden
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawsuit: Sheriff jailed dozens because of faulty electronic monitoring devices
Monday, March 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Woman dies while in custody at Cook County Jail
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Fox 32

City considers landmarking old Cook County Hospital
Friday, March 01, 2019
Gazette Chicago

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.