CHARLESTON – A Charleston physician is suing because he says he was forced out of his shares of a medical practice.

Dr. Hazem Ashhab filed the suit Sept. 3 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Day Surgery LLC, Dr. Francis M. Saldanha and Dr. Steven R. Matulis.

According to the complaint, Ashhab claims the defendants, co-members of Day Surgery, conspired to force him out so they could acquire his ownership in the business. The business has 100 shares outstanding between its members--the plaintiff owned 20 units, or a 20 percent stake. Saldanha owned 41 units, or 41 percent, and Matulis also owned 20 units, or 20 percent. The company is valued at $75,00 per unit, according to the complaint. Ashhab claims that the defendants devalued the shares to $8,000 per unit, allowing others to cheaply acquire the plaintiff's ownership interests.

As a result, he is charging breach of fiduciary duty, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, conspiracy and breach of contract. He asks the court to dissolve the limited liability company because members acted in a manner that is illegal and fraudulent. He also seeks compensatory and punitive damages, interest, court costs and attorney's fees, and a trial by jury.

Counsel for the plaintiff is Harry F. Bell Jr. of the Bell Law Firm in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 15-C-1667.

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