In our continuing effort to track the migratory habits of local doctors, NashvillePost.com has learned that Neurologic Consultants, a practice group formerly associated with St. Thomas Hospital, disbanded earlier this year with two of the three doctors bolting for Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
In a lawsuit filed last month, Neurologic Consultants' former landlord, Nashville-based specialty REIT Healthcare Realty Trust, alleges that the practice skipped out on its lease agreement when those doctors moved.
According to the filing, available at this link, Neurological Consultants entered into the lease agreement with St. Thomas in January of 2004. The lease had been to run though the end of 2008, but in January of this year, the filing claims, HRT, which was the assignee of St. Thomas under the lease, was informed that the practice would be vacating the office effective March 1 and that the equipment would be liquidated to repay creditors.
HRT claims the practice is in default on the lease and is demanding that it pay up all rent due through the rest of the lease term. The full amount is not specified in the lawsuit, but according to one of the documents included with the filing, as of March 30, HRT was seeking some $149,000 plus unspecified amounts for ancillary lease costs and collection expenses.
The three neurologists who made up the practice, David Uskavitch, Brian Thompson, and Alfred Callahan, are all named individually in the lawsuit as well. The plaintiff argues that their professional corporation was "a sham entity used for improper purposes to defraud creditors" and that the terms of the physicians' employment agreements show that it "was never capable of making a profit and had no capital with which to pay long-term debts." The court is asked to "pierce the corporate veil" of Neurologic Associates.
Uskavitch and Thompson both moved their practices to the Vanderbilt Clinic in February. Callahan joined the Stroke and Heart Attack Prevention Center, which is also housed at St. Thomas.
Representing HRT are Robert Guy and Jeffrey Fuller of Waller Lansden. Davis Carr of Boult Cummings was counsel to Neurology Consultants when HRT made payment demands in advance of filing suit.
Attorneys from both sides have, thus far, declined to comment. Calls to the three neurologists have not been returned.