CHICAGO (CN) – Days after Baxter International hired a Swiss doctor as its ‘medical director of cellular therapies,’ it wrongfully fired him for objecting to Baxter’s proposal to pay the Angiogenesis Foundation $230,000 to recruit patients for clinical trials in stem cell research, Hans Rapold claims in Cook County Court.
Rapold demands damages for tortious interference and fraudulent misrepresentation. He claims Baxter helped him get a visa, persuaded him to move from Europe to the Chicago area, where he would cease working for Baxter as a consultant and become a full-time employee.
Here is the heart of his claim: “On May 19, 2007, while still working under the terms of the Consulting Agreement with Baxter Healthcare S.A., Dr. Rapold voiced his concerns about Baxter’s proposed $230,000 payment to the Angiogenesis Foundation for the alleged recruitment of patients for Baxter’s trials in connection with Baxter’s stem cell research. Dr. Rapold questioned the appropriateness of a payment made for Angiogenesis Foundation’s alleged activities in reaching out to cardiologists in an effort to convince them to send their patients to be participants in Baxter’s stem cell research. Dr. Rapold’s concerns were based upon the ethical/legal appropriateness of using such a marketing approach in recruitment efforts for clinical trials involving unapproved drugs and highly risky study procedures; a $230,000 payment was far above the value of the alleged services rendered by the Angiogenesis Foundation; and the ineffectiveness of the Angiogenesis Foundation’s efforts, which failed to produce a single patients recruit for a similar payment it received from Baxter the prior year.”
Rapold says he returned to Europe on May 21 to collect the last of his personal belongings and bring them to the United States, and on May 25, Baxter fired him, and did not allow him to serve out his consulting agreement either.
Rapold is represented by Holman & Stefanowicz.