Jeffrey N. Catalano was quoted in The Boston Globe concerning a $22 million jury verdict awarded to a cancer scientist against Steward Health Care System for breach of contract that ultimately led to the destruction of her laboratory.
The scientist argued in Suffolk Superior Court that Steward Health Care broke its agreement when it spun off her cancer research at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in 2013 and stopped supporting her work, according to the Globe.
After Steward Health Care acquired the hospital in 2010, the company decided to stop conducting basic research and transferred the operations of the scientist's lab to a nonprofit, which eventually encountered financial difficulties and eventually filed for bankruptcy.
Mr. Catalano, president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, told the publication that juries tend to hold employment contracts sacred.
“If they feel an employee has been unfairly treated in an employment context, we’ve seen they can render substantial verdicts,” said Catalano, who was not involved in the case.
“You’re talking about a medical researcher and a brilliant scientist,” he added. “People in Massachusetts have deep respect for people who are committing themselves to scientific research, bettering humanity in a way. I think that was probably a compelling force in the jury’s decision to render such a substantial reward.”
Mr. Catalano is a partner at the firm, concentrating his practice on representing victims of catastrophic injuries in medical negligence and other personal injury matters.