Doctor sues colleague over allegedly defamatory letter

By Matt Russell | Aug 11, 2014

A Cook County doctor is suing a former co-worker who he claims damaged his reputation.

A Cook County doctor is suing a former co-worker who he claims damaged his reputation.

Dr. Richard Phillips filed suit July 23 in Cook County Circuit Court against Dr. Carl Toren.

According to the complaint, Phillips obtained a one-year contract to work as lead physician at Chicago Family Health Centers' (CFHC) Roseland site in August 2010.

In January 2011, Phillips claims he decided to end his contract, within 90 days as stipulated by the contract, but remained employed after the center's CEO was insistent he stay on due to a lack of a replacement.

Toward the end of his employment in July 2012, the suit states Phillips asked for his employment file and found a letter written by Toren containing false and deliberately misleading statements about his work and his departure.

According to the complaint, Phillips sought his file in order to prepare for an Illinois Department of Employment Security hearing in which he prevailed and involved CFHC.

Phillips asserts in his suit he believes Toren's letter was motivated by his desire to minimize CFHS's financial costs related to IDES and to obscure his failure as chief medical officer to comply state law as it applied to the employment and supervision of a nurse.

Phillips is seeking damages in excess of $45,000 and is representing himself in the matter.

Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 2014L007732.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and it represents only one side of the story.

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