LEBANON — A Vermont doctor claims he shut down his practice and moved to the Upper Valley to take a job with the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center only to have the offer rescinded.
Andrew Haig filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court in Burlington, Vt., claiming that the $300,000-a-year position as chair of a new Occupational and Rehabilitation Medicine department that he was offered was revoked after he got ready to start.
Haig’s lawsuit was filed in the federal court earlier this month. The hospital has yet to respond to the lawsuit, according to court records.
Haig’s lawsuit claims that Dartmouth-Hitchcock offered him the position in March. Haig had applied last year and interviewed for the position in November.
In the subsequent weeks, Haig closed down his practice, finding new doctors for his patients, shut down his consulting practice, and applied for a license to practice medicine in New Hampshire, according to the lawsuit. Haig did not receive a written job offer during this time, but relied on the verbal agreement he had with the hospital.
By mid-May, Haig claims he had undertaken nearly every requirement Dartmouth-Hitchcock had for him. By May 17, however, the job was no longer his.
“Dr. (Richard) Rothstein called Dr. Haig to say that he ‘had been instructed’ to tell him that D-H had changed its mind and was cancelling its agreement to employ Dr. Haig,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit states that Haig wasn’t initially given a reason for this sudden change other that another staff member in orthopedics objected to changing the department structures Haig’s hiring would encompass. Rothstein told Haig that they had had a “handshake” agreement on the job.
“What is your handshake worth?” Haig asked, according to the lawsuit.