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 the eyes of hospital leaders, Gossman wasn’t a whistleblower at all, but an opportunist. Knowing that he was going to be fired for his behavior, he set about to manufacture a smokescreen of explosive conflict-of-interest allegations. To be sure, Gossman certainly sounded like a whistleblower at times. In a letter to a hospital official, for example, he wrote that many cardiologists believed the Endeavor stent was “suboptimal” and that Lahey’s alleged conflicts of interest with it “compromise patient care.” What’s curious about the letter, though, is that Gossman didn’t send it until after he was fired.

Around the hospital, Gossman didn’t strike some people as a doctor particularly concerned about conflicts of interest. Two doctors who trained under him said they don’t remember the issue ever inciting much passion in him. And when Massachusetts’ new medical ethics rules were being debated in the state legislature in 2008, Gossman added his signature to a letter protesting them (on the grounds that they would inhibit medical innovation). Danehy, the Lahey spokesman, claims Gossman articulated his concerns over Medtronic stents only once, at the August staff meeting — and that was after Lahey’s CEO had already signed the paperwork to fire him.

Just because he wasn’t seen as someone intensely concerned with ethics, Gossman says, doesn’t mean the issue didn’t matter to him. “For better or worse, the only funding of medical research is private funding — all the innovations come out of private companies. That’s just the way it is,” he says. “But, and this has been an issue of mine, how close [of a relationship] is too close?”

THAT IS A QUESTION THAT SOMEONE other than Gossman will have to answer. In March, in a required filing with the SEC, Medtronic revealed that its relationship with the Lahey Clinic and its doctors is under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts. Whatever the feds find, the allegations are powerful enough to cloud the reputation of two well-respected physicians, a highly regarded department, and a renowned hospital.

Gossman’s lawsuit may have launched a federal investigation, but it isn’t going to uncover any more bombshells. Around the time of Medtronic’s SEC filing, Lahey and Gossman agreed to a settlement, the terms of which include a stipulation that bars both sides from further discussing the case.

That hardly means the matter is over, however. In the time that it was open, Gossman’s case revealed the inner workings of one of the world’s great hospitals, and laid bare the messy, if necessary, symbiotic relationships between physicians and medical technology companies. It also ended up damaging almost everyone involved. “It’s a very sad situation for both sides,” says a former Lahey staffer. “It’s a very sad situation all around.”

  • 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