Dan Harkins Jul. 23, 2015, 12:11pm

An anesthesiologist who was fired from a local practice is suing over claims that he was fired without cause in alleged retaliation for not participating in making false claims.

Dr. Andrew Engel filed a complaint July 8 in Cook County Circuit Court against Continental Anesthesia Ltd., Presence Health Care and Dr. Madison Sample Jr.

According to the lawsuit, on Oct. 1, 2013, Engel and Continental signed a contract employing Engel. The contract was renewed on Oct. 1, 2014, for another one-year term.

Without allegedly any other problems during his short tenure there, the lawsuit states, Continental fired Engel on May 7, 2015, "for cause." As to what that "cause" was, the lawsuit states, there was "no such 'for cause' triggering event under any portion of the (employment contract)."

In fact, Engel claims, he was retaliated against for not participating in "activities that would have resulted in violations of federal and state laws" governing false claims, the lawsuit states.

The plaintiff, citing breath of contract, violations of the state Wage Payment and Collection Act and the Whistleblower Act, common law retaliatory discharge and tortuous interference with contractual relations, Engel seeks damages of more than $250,000, plus interest and costs.

The plaintiff is represented by Michael I. Leonard, Maryam Arfeen and Ethan E. White, of LeonardMeyer LLP in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number 2015L006916.

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