March 17, 2017

Suit against UMass-affiliated Shields dismissed

File photo
UMass Memorial Health Center's Memorial Campus. A pharmacy management services company affiliated with UMass Memorial Health Care has won a suit filed by a former employee.

A U.S. District Court judge has dismissed a wrongful-practices lawsuit against Shields Health Solutions by its former president.

Tom Guilfoile sued Shields last year, alleging the co-founder of the pharmacy management services company, Jack Shields Sr., directed illegal payments to a long-time friend and consultant to several hospitals in exchange for referrals, and was involved with fraudulently diverting company assets for his own personal financial gain.

Guilfoile also claimed Shields knowingly falsely represented company contracts with hospitals to chronically ill patients with serious medical conditions.

A judge dismissed those charges last week, a public relations firm for the defendants announced Friday.

Shields Health Solutions is a joint venture between UMass Memorial Health Ventures, an affiliate of Worcester's UMass Memorial Health Care, and Shields Pharmacy LLC of Quincy.

Shields Sr. nearly immediately counter-sued Guilfoile for defamation and interference with business relationships. That suit remains active, according to Friday's announcement.

Guilfoile was fired in 2015 for incompetence, deceit and treatment towards fellow employees, the defendants said. Guilfoile couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

An attorney for Shields Sr. released a statement after the dismissal of the suit.

"Reputations are destroyed and individuals and companies suffer serious financial harm when they are falsely accused of wrongdoing as was the case here," attorney Michael Sullivan said. "Mr. Guilfoile knew, or should have known, based on his previous position that no such improper conduct occurred."

"He also knew or should have known of the harm his allegation would have on Shields," he added. "As stated in the court filings, we believed that Mr. Guilfoile's federal claim was meritless and the court agreed."

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