Who is James Murtagh MD?

Our fellows routinely complain about (Dr. Murtagh’s) poor and/or bizarre clinical and professional behavior.  They avoid interacting with him and try to change their schedules so as not to work with him.  Those who have worked with him report that it is an uncomfortable and often deeply distressing experience.  They do not trust his clinical judgment and believe that he is unethical in his billing practices and interactions with patients…

David M. Guidot, MD
Murtagh v. Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority
Docket No. 1:09-cv-00752 (N.D. Ga. Mar. 19, 2009) 
 

WELCOME to the UNOFFICIAL and UNAUTHORIZED page of James John Murtagh, MD.  Its purpose is not to defame the former Emory University professor, but to provide hospitals and “locum tenens” staffing agencies easy access to publicly-available court documents about his past conduct and behavior that Dr. Murtagh and his former employers are reluctant to share.  Visitors are encouraged to verify the authenticity of all documents with the appropriate judicial jurisdictions before making any hiring decisions based upon these PUBLIC COURT DOCUMENTS.

James Murtagh MD

James John Murtagh MD

A malevolent and imaginative pathological liar, Dr. Murtagh has paid “journalists” like Michael Volpe and Tom Nugent to write fanciful pieces about his schizophrenic career in blogs like Crime MagazineProvocateur, OpEdNews, and the dubious Whistleblower Support Fund.  Dr. Murtagh tells anyone (who will listen) of his valiant stand against Emory University, despite withering decisions from the US District Court (2001) and Georgia Court of Appeals (2013) – all re-affirmed by the US Supreme Court (2016).

In addition to his impressive résumé, these documents contained in this website describe Dr. Murtagh’s controversial exit from Emory University in 2001 and $1.6 million structured settlement that he jeopardized by breaching a settlement agreement with the university.

Dr. Murtagh has a long history of mental illness and depression since 1982.    In July 1996, he was “taken out of work for two months“, diagnosed as “suffering from a Bipolar type II disorder, and prescribed Lithium.” Court records show that he prescribed drugs that include DepakoteSerzoneLithiumLuvoxLithobid, Ambien and Klonopin.  For many months during the mid- to late-1990s, his peers and associates memorialized his disruptive and bizarre behavior.

On December 20, 1999, Emory Medical School Prof. R. Wayne Alexander, MD, PhD relieved Dr. Murtagh of his clinical privileges pending the results of a comprehensive psychiatric examination.   After four visits,  Dr. Hilton released his findings:

In 2001, forensic psychiatrist Michael Hilton MD described his history of mental illness.  Dr. Hilton wrote that Dr. Murtagh was capable of returning to work in a limited duty fashion and that “his mental illness (Bipolar Disorder) does not appear to be playing a significant role in limiting his duties.”

Dr. Hilton recommended that he “be allowed to return to work in a non-clinical position where life and death issues would not be in the balance… and that he should continue in this position for a period of at least six months.  If at the end of this six month period his performance has been acceptable in terms of adequate focus, appropriate interpersonal interactions, attention to detail and quality of work, then it would be my recommendation that he would then be ready for return to work in a clinical position, but I would still suggest that he not be involved in critical care issues.”

Psychiatrist Thomas W. Gable MD disagreed.

Dr. Murtagh often surrounds himself with others to give legitimacy to his false claims.

Dr. Murtagh (center) actively represents himself as a “medical whistleblower”. Court documents show that he’s mentally ill.  The FBI found no merit to his claims against Emory.

Dr. Murtagh filed numerous claims and lawsuits.  During the next 20 months, his clinical privileges were never restored at Emory or Grady Hospital. On August 10, 2001, he entered into this settlement agreement.

During the following years, Dr. Murtagh repeatedly violated the agreement and injunction against him by  impersonation of Emory officials to send defamatory emails; his withholding of evidence, perjury, and tampering of documents during arbitration proceedings; his two court contempt orders; and a ruling of about $666,000 in damages against him for bad-faith conduct.

On March 29, 2013, the Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling against him, which increased the award to Emory to over $1 million for damages, fees, and expenses stemming from Dr. Murtagh’s “pattern of repeated, bad faith and surreptitious violations of the Settlement Agreement, and his repeated and willful violations of the Court’s orders.” Dr. Murtagh has been a defendant in at least one defamation case and a plaintiff in at least a dozen lawsuits filed against other hospitals where he has worked.

Dr. Murtagh records telephone conversations to use against targeted hospitals, recruiters, and individuals.  In 2014, his habit of surreptitiously recording telephone conversations with medical recruiters  (1, 2, and 3) came under scrutiny when U.S. Magistrate Judge John H. Rich, III, of the District of Maine ruled that no legal privilege exempts the recordings from compulsory discovery in a lawsuit with St. Mary’s Hospital of Lewiston, Maine.

Dr. Murtagh routinely misrepresents his past under PENALTY OF PERJURY, claiming that his 2001 settlement agreement prevents him from disclosing his forced departure from Emory.  His case was unsealed in 2007.

 

Dr. Murtagh’s “professional references” include long time girlfriend Rebecca Blackington MD (they never worked together), medical malpractice attorney Glen Goodhart MD JD (Murtagh’s lawyer), Lokesh Vuyyuru MD (lost license after killing patients), and Atlanta-area doctors who won’t risk being sued by Dr Murtagh again.

Dr. Murtagh is the director, owner, operator and sole member of a blog he calls the International Association of WhistleblowersOther Former associates are found at whistleblowers.us.  He posts numerous generic blogs and websites like Linked-In, HealthGrades, and ZocDoc but never mentions his mental illnesses, his conduct at hospitals like EmoryMarietta Memorial Hospital (Ohio), St. Mary’s Hospital and VAMC Altoona.

Dr. Murtagh could not file meritless and vexatious lawsuits without the aid of his unethical attorneys like attorneys Steven Dennison SmithMick G. Harrison, Richard ConditGlenn Goodhart, Mark SpixBrian Mahany and Joseph Bird (who wrote that Murtagh will fabricate anything); Amanda Washton, John Wallace,  David P. Bleistein, Lisa Hiraide, and Robert Rosen of Rosen & Associates.  After his first lawsuit against Private Investigator Clark Baker was dismissed in 2012, Dr. Murtagh said that he planned to “hire a very junior lawyer who will just ask the questions I tell him to ask…” and that he did not “intend to actually take the case all the way to trial- I just want to serve subpoenas. U### will break down and cry and Clark will go ballistic.

In 2014, Kevin Kuritzky described his long-time association with Dr. Murtagh (2005-2014) and concluded:

BASED UPON MY YEARS OF MEDICAL TRAINING AND OUR CLOSE RELATIONSHIP, I BELIEVE THAT DR. MURTAGH IS MENTALLY ILL… I HAVE REPEATEDLY ASKED DR. MURTAGH TO GET HELP. WHEN I ASKED HIM WHY HE DIDN’T GIVE UP ON HIS MANY LAWSUITS AND SETTLE DOWN WITH HIS LONGTIME GIRLFRIEND, MURTAGH TOLD ME THAT HIS LAWSUITS WERE FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP. I’VE HAD NO CONTACT WITH MURTAGH SINCE THEN.