Employment: Nurse Fired after Testifying She May Sue Hospital for Retaliatory Discharge

August 1, 2013 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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Maine's highest court held that a nurse who was fired by a hospital after she gave deposition testimony in a wrongful-death suit against the hospital may sue the employer for retaliatory discharge under the state's whistleblower protection act. Shortly after the patient's death, the nurse spoke with the deceased patient's daughter and speculated as to possible causes of death, including morphine overdose. The hospital denied retaliating against the nurse and maintained that it discharged her because she falsified a medical record.

The court noted that the nurse's performance evaluations by the hospital over approximately 19 years were consistently positive, including evaluations conducted one month before her deposition testimony. The hospital fired her one day after...

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