There Will Be Blood and Money

And a lawsuit. And many, many questions about the relationship between a local hospital and the world’s largest medical device company.

In his suit, Gossman also paints a detailed, and highly unflattering, picture of Piemonte and his relationship with Medtronic. Gossman describes Piemonte as a doctor mired in conflict caused by his “significant financial interests” in the company. He says that Piemonte’s wife is a sales rep for the company and that the pair “retains substantial holdings” of Medtronic stock. He also notes Piemonte’s service as a paid speaker on behalf of the company. For a speech that took place in June 2009, for instance, around the time Gossman alleges the CoreValve deal was taking place, Piemonte traveled to a Connecticut restaurant to discuss the latest research on Endeavor, some of which was suggesting that restenosis wasn’t really a problem. In exchange for his time, Piemonte was paid $2,000.

Any attempt to interpret these kinds of transactions is colored by the murky union between doctors and pharmaceutical companies. Whereas new drugs often come out of company labs, the creation of a medical device requires much more involvement from the doctors who will be implanting it. “People of Dr. Piemonte’s stature tend to be sought after by many device companies. He’s a very brilliant fellow,” says a former resident. “I think he’s got the ethics to know if there is an issue.”

Considering the climate of suspicion surrounding medical ethics, it’s easy to make Piemonte’s relationship with Medtronic sound shady. Yet the information about Piemonte that Gossman didn’t include in his suit is just as interesting as the details he did. Although Piemonte’s wife does work for Medtronic, she neither sells stents nor conducts business with Lahey. The couple currently co-owns four shares in the company, worth about $200 (though, as a longtime employee, she may own more shares solely in her name). As for Piemonte himself, his 2009 earnings from Medtronic speaking engagements totaled $4,000, all of which he donated to charity.

IN HIS LAWSUIT, perhaps not surprisingly, Gossman emerges as a doctor solely motivated by the best interests of patients. Yet over the years at the hospital, he had earned a complicated reputation. Though he was widely considered an excellent doctor, he was also seen by some as an abrasive colleague. “He would definitely speak his mind,” says a former Lahey cardiologist. Even one of his former coworkers — one who believes Gossman raised an important issue — thinks the way he asked his question at the big department meeting exemplified his lack of tact. “That’s kind of the shitty personality of Dave — that’s why some members of the staff didn’t like him,” this person says. “That’s not a political way to bring it up. That’s the personality conflict that gets you in trouble.”

According to a Lahey spokesman, Steven Danehy, Gossman’s termination had nothing to do with his allegations about the hospital and Piemonte. For years, Danehy says, hospital officials fielded complaints about Gossman’s behavior from people inside and outside the building, though he declined to detail those complaints. “We’re trying to take the high road on this,” he says. He adds the clinic fired him only after numerous attempts to correct his disruptive behavior. (Says Gossman: “There was never a [time] where they said, ‘You’re on thin ice,’ or words implying that. This was a bolt out of the blue.”)

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  • RN33

    How much did they pay you to throw Tom to the wolves and keep the true culprit Dick Nesto out of the story?

  • Gloria

    Gossman is an evil man who treated women with little respect. At least 8 women filed sexual harassment complaints against him.

  • Gloria

    Gossman is an evil man who treated women with little respect. At least 8 women filed sexual harassment complaints against him.

  • Bob

    What exactly is the story here? Retaliation for being fired?

  • RN33

    If 8 women filed sexual harassment complaints against Gossman then how did he last twenty years in the organization? Furthermore, why would Lahey then skirt around the issue and not come out and plain

  • RN33

    say that he violated policy and was fired with due cause and process. An organization “taking the high road” is not letting 1 woman let alone 8 be harassed and allowing the harasser to remain on

  • E.

    In defense of Dave Gossman, how would a man continue in his position in a major medical facility having harassed so many women over so long a period of time. One of the female staff at Lahey, who per

  • Mike

    One man let made a killing as a paid speaker for pharma, let Piemonte get on with his shady dealings, then destroyed the whistleblower Gossman and now is the CMOO of the Lahey, Richard Nesto MD. He is

  • harod

    At the Lahey, you dot your I’s , cross your T’s, and make $ signs out of your S’s. This isn’t the first time that Lahey paid out for their suspicious relationship with industry and it won’t be t

  • joseph

    I heard that Dr. Peimonte owns $millions in Stock w Medtronix, and was paid $100K/yr. as consultant too. Sounds like Leahy has a conflict 2 me!

  • Jess

    I am very familiar with Lahey Clinic and many of the professionals that the hospital employs. I feel the care is superior at Lahey and I have never found a reason to doubt the integrity of Lahey staff

  • Sandi’s Ghost

    The real culprit here is Richard Nesto who heads up Cardiology also having affair with COO Lynn Stofer and is in line for next CEO with Corkery, Healy, Rosenblatt all pathetic Lahey choices.

  • ron

    get real..he lasted 20 years just as several other doctors at Lahey who get away with sexual/verbal harassment/horizontal violence…lahey protects them from the underlings or “pee-ons” as one female md refers to all staff under md level