Surgeon picks bone over sale of 3B Orthopaedics practice

Surgeon David G, Nazarian is suing for his share of proceeds from the sale of 3B Orthopaedics. (Photo from med.upenn.edu)
Surgeon David G, Nazarian is suing for his share of proceeds from the sale of 3B Orthopaedics. (Photo from med.upenn.edu)
Posted: March 14, 2013

A court fight has erupted at the former 3B Orthopaedics, which moved to Aria Health from Pennsylvania Hospital in January.

David G. Nazarian, a former 3B surgeon and a stockholder in 3B Orthopaedics P.C. who did not move to Aria, said in a lawsuit filed Monday that 3B had refused to pay him his share of the proceeds from the sale of the nationally prominent practice.

The lawsuit, filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, said that the price for the practice was believed to be $4 million, though Nazarian has not been given a copy of the signed sales agreement.

In addition to 3B Orthopaedics, the lawsuit names as defendants the three surgeons who gave the practice its name - Robert E. Booth, Richard A. Balderston, Arthur R. Bartoluzzi - and another 3B surgeon and stockholder, Philip M. Maurer.

A spokeswoman for Aria Health said Tuesday that the physicians, who are now Aria employees, had no comment on the suit, which was filed by lawyers William A. Harvey and Kerry E. Slade of Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg L.L.P.

Nazarian owns 50 shares, or 12.5 percent, of 3B Orthopaedics, but the company's five shareholders agreed in August before the final vote on the sale to split the proceeds evenly, the lawsuit alleged.

After the vote in favor of the sale, the other stockholders decided to split the proceeds according to current stock ownership percentages, the suit said.

Nazarian's suit said that he has not even received "the 12.5 percent of the proceeds to which they admit he is entitled." That amounts to $500,000.

Nazarian stayed behind and is now employed by Pennsylvania Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which has since restocked the Center City facility with orthopedic doctors from Penn Medicine.

Nazarian "did not wish to accept employment at Aria and continue working with the doctor defendants in part due to multiple instances of deceit, harassment, intimidation and unethical conduct" that he experienced while at 3B, the suit said.

Nazarian's suit also alleged that 3B Orthopaedics "failed and refused" to pay him bonuses for the third and fourth quarters of 2012. In the first six months of 2012, Nazarian received a bonus of $495,000, on top of his $210,000 annual salary, the suit said.


Contact Harold Brubaker at 215-854-4651 or hbrubaker@phillynews.com.

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