Judge to Take Hard Look at Splitting Optometrists' Practice

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Aug. 19, 2013 12:00 am  

Two North Little Rock optometrists and business partners aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on how to run their 26-year-old Family Eye Clinic in North Little Rock.

Dr. Ricky D. Meador accused his partner and fellow optometrist, Dr. Roger P. Neal, of “spreading untruths and making innuendos concerning Dr. Meador’s professional competency,” according to Meador’s lawsuit filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

Now Meador wants a judge to step in and dissolve the company. Both Meador and Neal each own 50 percent of the practice, and they can’t agree on a way to split up the firm, which also has a location in Little Rock.

Meador also wants a judge to quickly step in and order Neal to stop managing the company and appoint a receiver.

Meador and Neal started practicing together in 1987. But the bad blood between the two began a few months ago, according to the lawsuit.

In May, Meador said he began receiving word that Neal was spouting off to fellow colleagues and others that Meador was “no longer competent to practice optometry.”

Neal also allegedly said that Dr. Meador “was suffering from mental defects and dementia such that he should no longer be seeing patients.”

Meador said Neal’s comments have hurt Meador’s practice and the company.

“In an attempt to stop Dr. Neal’s attacks, Dr. Meador voluntarily had an MRI done and completed a battery of psycho-neurological tests,” the lawsuit said.

“The MRI and the tests all showed no loss or decline in Dr. Meador’s mental capacities.”

Meador said that Neal made the hurtful statements “so that Dr. Neal could take over Dr. Meador’s patient load.”

Neal couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. But in the answer filed in the case, he denied Meador’s allegations and listed 22 reasons why the lawsuit should be dismissed.



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