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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

UAB Joins Our Rob Riley/HealthSouth Puzzle

We recently have focused on an intriguing puzzle involving Alabama attorney Rob Riley and Birmingham-based HealthSouth Corp. Now we have discovered a new piece to the puzzle, and it involves the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), my former employer.

How does this all fit together? Let's take a look:

* First, we noted that Riley apparently had used his status as Governor Bob Riley's son, and his insider connections to the Don Siegelman/Richard Scrushy criminal case, to gain a front-and-center position in the massive HealthSouth fraud litigation. We also reported that Riley, while apparently fighting fraud in the HealthSouth case, is owner of a company that reportedly is engaging in health-care fraud. How ironic.

* Second, we learned that Riley's Company, Performance Group LLC, engages in rehabilitation medicine. This just happens to be the field in which HealthSouth became a national leader. We also reported that Riley and his partners had enlisted some 20 physicians as owners in Performance Group, apparently with plans to grow the company into a substantial organization--one that could perhaps fill a market vacuum left by a weakened HealthSouth. How curious.

So, where does UAB fit into the picture? Sources tell Legal Schnauzer that two of Riley's primary partners in Performance Group are Dr. Thomas G. Spurlock and Dr. Francois Michel Blaudeau.

Spurlock, a chiropractor, is an owner and officer in Performance Group. He also happens to be an associate professor in UAB's Department of Surgery.

Blaudeau has a law degree and works in Riley's firm, Riley & Jackson, where he focuses on medical-malpractice cases and health-care litigation and business development. Blaudeau also is a physician, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. And where is his practice based? At UAB Medical West in Bessemer.

So what have we learned?

Rob Riley is playing a starring role in the HealthSouth litigation that already has produced more than $500 million in settlements. The governor's son stands to profit nicely when all the dust settles at HealthSouth.

Riley and several partners are trying to build a company called Performance Group into a significant player in the field of rehabilitation medicine, the same field in which HealthSouth made its name.

Two of Riley's partners are affiliated with UAB.

Could all of this have had something to do with my unlawful termination at UAB? Could something I wrote on this blog have sparked folks in the HealthSouth/Performance Group/UAB vortex to decide that a certain Schnauzer had to be separated from his job?

Could I have been fired because someone--or several someones--saw this little blog as a threat (however slight) to their plans to rake in big bucks in the lucrative field of rehabilitation medicine?

We will be addressing those questions in upcoming posts.

In fact, as the first anniversary of my unlawful termination nears, we will be taking a close look at a number of clues about what really caused me to be unlawfully terminated at UAB. In the process, we will be shining light on several justice-related matters that go way beyond my employment situation.

2 comments:

legalschnauzer said...

Joseph:
I think I mistakenly rejected your comment. You had been surprised that Dr. Spurlock, a chiropractor, is a faculty member in neurosurgery at UAB. From my time at UAB, I don't think this is unusual. I'm guessing he is involved in rehabilitation of neurosurgery patients and perhaps conducts research in that area. That's probably why he is a faculty member in that department.

Sorry for the oops on my part.

LS

Anonymous said...

I, too, am surprised that a chiropractor would be involved with neurosurgery in any capacity at an institution of learning.