Florida Keys

Doctor vs. Doctor: An argument, a neck grab, a lawsuit


During an argument over a patient’s treatment, a Key West cardiologist grabbed the neck of another and pushed her head down, according to a lawsuit filed this month in circuit court.

Dr. Cheryl Lund, an internist, says the incident happened in March at Lower Keys Medical Center, 5900 College Road, and she reported it to police July 23.

But Officer Thaddeus Calvert told her he didn’t feel comfortable making an arrest on a four-month-old allegation, according to the police report, which doesn’t indicate he spoke with the accused, Dr. Michel Vandormael.

Lund hired Key West attorney Nathan Eden, who on Aug. 3 filed a three-page complaint against Vandormael seeking more than $15,000 in damages and claiming personal indignity, humiliation, bodily injury and pain and suffering.

Lund didn’t want Vandormael to go to jail, police said, but was disappointed when she told her bosses, who only gave him a warning.

Since the March incident, Lund said the two, who encounter each other twice weekly, haven’t had any other clashes. Vandormael didn’t return a voicemail seeking comment left at his office.

The two doctors were having a difference of opinion over a patient when Lund said things turned ugly.

After yelling at her for about 15 minutes, Vandormael, according to Lund, grabbed her and pushed her head down atop an EKG report during the argument “and asking her what it showed,” the police report stated.

“Lund said she yelled at him to get his hands off her and pulled away,” the report continued. “Lund said she asked him to leave her alone and went back to her computer.”

Lund said Vandormael continued to come back to where she was sitting and at times touched her back, she told police.

Vandormael, who earned his medical degree in Belgium, has 37 years of experience in cardiology and came to Key West from Daytona after working in Montreal, according to his bio on the hospital’s website.

Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen