In six years, a small vein clinic in the University Health Care System’s Evans campus turned itself into a regional presence, covering four major Southeast cities.
The Vein Care Pavilion of the South, commonly known as the Vein Guys, grew out of the desire of vascular surgeon Steven Roth to have his own vein care facility. Roth, born in Pittsburgh and trained in Virginia, became interested in minimally invasive vein procedures.
Roth was one of five company members of the Vein Guys killed in a plane crash Wednesday night near the Thomson-McDuffie County Airport.
In a 2007 article in the journal Surgical Clinics of North America, Roth described how radiofrequency ablation, or using high-frequency energy delivered via a catheter, could be used to close off veins (usually in the leg) that were preventing blood from circulating properly, without the surgical complications of earlier procedures.
Roth, who joined the University Hospital staff in May 2000, started the company in 2004 with Dr. Keith Davis, a plastic surgeon who died in 2010.
Davis had been operating the Plastic Surgery Pavilion of the South in Evans, and it became the Vein Care Pavilion of the South when it began to focus more on vein closure procedures.
The Vein Guys now has four doctors and more than a dozen support staff, with offices in the Nashville, Tenn.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Atlanta metro areas. According to the company’s Web site, it was planning to open an office in the Memphis, Tenn., metro area this year.
To accommodate the patient traffic, the company moved into larger quarters in Evans in 2012 and in Nashville in 2011.
Ownership of Vein Guys became part of a legal dispute after Davis died in January 2010, according to court documents. Davis and Roth formed their partnership in 2004, splitting profits equally.
On Dec. 3, 2010, Roth filed suit in Columbia County Superior Court seeking a declaratory judgment. He contended the operating agreement between the partners allowed him to buy out Davis’ widow, Lori. The two sides in the lawsuit also disputed what Davis’ estate was entitled to collect as a final profit while the partnership remains in effect.
Lori Davis contended that Roth’s accountant’s determination of the fair market value of the company, $2,578,693 in 2010, was unreasonable. On behalf the estate, she also contended that Roth collected $4,747,422 in profits in 2010 and 2011 when he valued her husband’s share at just under $1.44 million.
Judge J. David Roper sided with Roth on the issue of the company’s fair market value, saying the evaluation was properly done. An appeal of Roper’s ruling on that decision is pending before the Georgia Court of Appeals.
Also in dispute was the value of the airplane that crashed Wednesday. Roth contended it was worth $1.3 million, but that he and Dr. Davis were personally and equally liable for a $1.4 million lien on the plane. He contended Davis’ widow should be responsible for $50,000 toward the debt.
Staff writer Sandy Hodson contributed to this article.