Moran v. Chassin

Decision Date07 March 1996
Citation225 A.D.2d 814,638 N.Y.S.2d 835
Parties, 7 NDLR P 420 In the Matter of Thomas F. MORAN, Petitioner, v. Mark R. CHASSIN, as Commissioner of Health of the State of New York, et al., Respondents.
CourtNew York Supreme Court — Appellate Division

Thuillez, Ford, Gold & Conolly (Barry A. Gold, of counsel), Albany, for petitioner.

Dennis C. Vacco, Attorney-General (Barbara K. Hathaway, of counsel), New York City, for Administrative Review Board for Professional Medical Conduct, respondent.

Before MERCURE, J.P., and CREW, CASEY, YESAWICH and SPAIN, JJ.

SPAIN, Justice.

Proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78 (initiated in this court pursuant to Public Health Law § 230-c[5] ) to review a determination of respondent Administrative Review Board for Professional Medical Conduct which suspended and permanently restricted petitioner's license to practice medicine in New York.

In March 1991 the Michigan Attorney-General commenced a proceeding against petitioner alleging that he suffers from epilepsy, a seizure disorder, and an emotional disorder which affected his ability to practice medicine in a safe and competent manner. The Michigan proceeding included a summary of 12 patients' complaints regarding their medical treatment by petitioner. Petitioner, after refusing to comply with an order to submit to a psychiatric examination, defaulted in the Michigan proceeding. By final order dated June 1, 1992, the Michigan Department of Commerce Board of Medicine suspended petitioner's license to practice medicine for six months and one day. In September 1993, the New York Bureau of Professional Medical Conduct (hereinafter the BPMC) commenced a proceeding against petitioner pursuant to Public Health Law § 230(10)(p). Specifically, he was charged with professional misconduct as defined in Education Law § 6530(9)(b) and (d) because a disciplinary action in another state had resulted in the suspension of his license and because he had been found guilty of improper professional conduct by a disciplinary agency of another state.

Following an administrative hearing before a Hearing Committee convened by the State Board for Professional Medical Conduct (hereinafter the Committee), a determination was rendered sustaining the charge that petitioner's license had been suspended in Michigan and concluding that petitioner's conduct, if committed in New York, would constitute violations of Education Law § 6530(8) and (15). The Committee suspended petitioner's license to practice medicine for three years, but stayed the suspension and placed him on probation; as a condition of his probation he was, inter alia, directed to limit his practice "to those activities where he would have no direct patient care responsibilities or any direct patient contact". The Committee also determined that petitioner should engage in ongoing treatment with both a neurologist and a psychiatrist.

Both the BPMC and petitioner sought review of the Committee's determination. Upon review, respondent Administrative Review Board for Professional Medical Conduct (hereinafter the ARB) sustained the Committee's finding that petitioner was guilty of professional misconduct. Further, the ARB determined that the Committee's penalty which prohibited petitioner from engaging in direct patient contact and patient care was appropriate, but should be permanent and not limited to the period of probation. The ARB reasoned that "[t]here is no indication from the expert testimony that [petitioner's] condition will improve over the course of time or of treatment". Along with this sanction, the ARB determined that petitioner was not capable of clinical practice. Petitioner commenced the instant CPLR article 78 proceeding to challenge the ARB's determination.

Initially we note that, although petitioner participated in the New York proceeding, he did not contest the fact that he was guilty of professional misconduct in New York as a result of being disciplined in Michigan. Rather, he argues that the evidence of two of his witnesses, James Rowan, a neurologist with expertise in epilepsy, and Steven Katz, one of petitioner's psychiatrists, supports the proposition that petitioner, under specific limitations, should be allowed to continue direct patient care in New York. This court's review of the ARB's sanction, however, is limited to determining whether it was so disproportionate to his offense as to be shocking to one's sense of fairness (see, Matter of Pell v. Board of Educ., 34 N.Y.2d 222, 233, 356 N.Y.S.2d 833, 313 N.E.2d 321; Matter of Adler v. Bureau of Professional Med. Conduct, State of N.Y., Dept. of Health, 211 A.D.2d 990, 993, 622 N.Y.S.2d 609; Matter of...

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3 cases
  • Hatfield v. Department of Health of the State of N. Y.
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • December 11, 1997
    ...consider the penalty imposed upon petitioner to be excessive as it does not shock one's sense of fairness (see, Matter of Moran v. Chassin, 225 A.D.2d 814, 815, 638 N.Y.S.2d 835, lv. denied 88 N.Y.2d 807, 647 N.Y.S.2d 164, 670 N.E.2d ADJUDGED that the determination is confirmed, without cos......
  • Ikramuddin v. De Buono
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • December 30, 1998
    ...to determining whether "it was so disproportionate to the offense as to be shocking to one's sense of fairness" (Matter of Moran v. Chassin, 225 A.D.2d 814, 638 N.Y.S.2d 835, lv. denied 88 N.Y.2d 807, 647 N.Y.S.2d 164, 670 N.E.2d 448). The Hearing Committee based its determination upon peti......
  • Moran v. Chassin
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • June 28, 1996
    ...of Thomas F. Moran v. Mark R. Chassin, as Commissioner of Health of State NO. 639 Court of Appeals of New York June 28, 1996 225 A.D.2d 814, 638 N.Y.S.2d 835 MOTION FOR LEAVE TO GRANTED OR DENIED. Denied. ...

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