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September 11, 1997

Defendants named by Fisher in lawsuit

On Aug. 27, Bernard Fisher withdrew the federal lawsuit he had filed three years ago against Pitt and 13 other defendants following his removal as chairperson and principal investigator of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP).

In exchange for dropping the lawsuit, Fisher received an official apology from the University and $2.75 million.

Joseph A. Katarincic, one of Fisher's attorneys, said Pitt will pay "little, if any" of the $2.75 million. See related story. Katarincic said he does not know how much money any of the other defendants will pay. Fisher and University officials refused to comment, citing confidentiality clauses in the settlement agreement.

Fisher had named the following defendants in his lawsuit:

* The University of Pittsburgh

* Former Pitt Chancellor J. Dennis O'Connor, who was chancellor at the time of Fisher's dismissal.

* Thomas Detre, Pitt senior vice chancellor for Health Sciences

* Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Herberman served as interim chairperson of the NSABP after Fisher was removed.

* Hogan & Hartson, a Washington, D.C., law firm

* Martin Michaelson, an attorney for Hogan & Hartson. Michaelson initially had advised Fisher as well as Pitt's administration in the wake of criticism of NSABP research procedures by the National Cancer Institute and a Congressional subcommittee. Fisher claimed that confidential information he gave to Michaelson later was used against him by the University, a violation of his attorney-client privilege.

* The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

* Donna Shalala, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

* The National Institutes of Health (NIH)

* NIH director Harold Varmus

* The National Cancer Institute (NCI)

* NCI director Richard Klausner

* The federal Office of Research Integrity (ORI)

* ORI director Lyle Divens

Filed under: Feature,Volume 30 Issue 2

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