Hospital Granted Summary Judgment in Case Involving Doctor of Osteopathy’s Discrimination Claim

Case Name: Koppar v. Orange Regional Medical Center et al

Court:  United States District Court – Southern District of New York

Date of Opinion: February 3rd, 2022

Judge: Kenneth M. Karas

Overview: Doctor filed a discrimination lawsuit against his employer, claiming that he was fired because is of Indian decent..

Background:  Dr. Shardul Koppar is of Hindu descent and received a doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine in May 2016 and entered Orange Regional Medical Center’s (ORMC) Transitional Residency Internship (TRI). Koppar claims that, in September 2016, he and Dr. Gilani were talking and Gilani asked where Koppar was from. The plaintiff states that it was not uncommon to ask other employees where they were from as it helped in forming relationships.

Also, Dr. El Zarfif, one of the plaintiff’s supervisors, states that he observed numerous deficiencies in Koppar’s work. El Zarif states that Koppar was continuously late for daily rounds, did not complete patient notes in a timely fashion, and disappeared during the day without informing anyone. 

In November 2017, the Clinical Competency Committee (CCC) had a biannual meeting and discussed serious concerns that it had with Koppar’s performance, such as deficiencies in professionalism, communication skills, and patient care milestones.  After two incidents involving staff members, the plaintiff was terminated effective November 15, 2018. Koppar then filed a charge with the EEOC, who issued a dismissal and a notice of rights on September 25, 2019.  He then filed a lawsuit on December 11th, 2019.

Koppar brought nine causes of action in this lawsuit, including allegations that the defendant discriminated against him based on his religion and national origin, that the defendants breached their contract, and that two of the defendants tortiously interfered with his contract.  The defendants argue that Koppar has not presented any evidence that their actions were motivated by his religion or national origin.

The court ruled that the plaintiff did not meet his burden of proving that his termination was part of the circumstances that gave rise to his termination. In addition, the court also notes that a reasonable juror would see the remark as discriminatory.

Conclusion:  The defendant’s motion for summary judgment is granted.

Steven M. Cohen
Law Librarian | + posts

Steven M. Cohen is a law librarian at a midsize law firm in New York City.  He was the creator of Library Stuff, one of the first library blogs, which lasted over 15 years.  He obtained his MLS from Queens College in 2002.  His passions include legal research, reading novels, and rooting on his favorite sports teams.