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BROOKINGS DOCTORS SETTLE CIVIL LAWSUIT

A lawsuit against Dr. Samuel Ruben filed by Dr. Mark Silver has been settled out of court in Silvers favor.

Chris Keusink, Rubens attorney, said he received the settlement papers Tuesday.

It was mainly monetary. It could have been worse. At least we avoided a trial, Ruben said Tuesday.

Ruben was employed by Curry Health District until a lawsuit filed by Silver made it impossible for him to practice in Brookings-Harbor, and the health district closed the clinic.

In the lawsuit, Silver accused Ruben of violating a non-compete clause Ruben signed when he came to Brooking to work for Silver.

A separate suit against the health district was settled earlier with a $25,000 payment to Silver.

Ruben, who is currently employed at Pelican Bay Prison, indicated he still plans to practice in Brookings-Harbor when he is able to do so.

Its stipulated that I have to comply with the non-compete until July 1, 2001, Ruben said. I can see Oregon Health Plan patients and do (Developmentally Disabled) exams.

Both Ruben and Keusink said they were bound by the agreement to keep terms of the settlement confidential.

I would hope that Dr. Silver would donate the settlement money to health care in Curry County, Ruben said.

Meanwhile, Ruben said he wants to meet with Dr. Kelly Lowther, who has opened a private clinic at the Alder Street facility formerly occupied by Curry Health District.

Ruben has heard that Lowther is doing very well. I sent a lot of my old patients to her. he said.

Peter Lowther, who is the office manager for his doctor wife, said she is now taking health plan patients.

However, they are not accepting any new names because they already have 400 on the waiting list, he said. The Lowthers can only afford to allow about one quarter of the practice to be health plan clients, and stay afloat financially, he said.

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