Fired nurse: 'Jury spoke very loudly and clearly' with $3M wrong - KPTV - FOX 12

Fired nurse: 'Jury spoke very loudly and clearly' with $3M wrongful termination verdict

Posted: Updated: Sep 21, 2015 08:23 PM
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center will pay millions to a nurse after a jury agreed she was fired for voicing concerns about patient care.

The plaintiff in the case, former nurse Linda Boly, said she thinks her court case sends a message.

Boly spent 34 years of her nursing career at Legacy Good Samaritan, with what her attorney calls a nearly spotless track record.

That all changed, she said, when she spoke up for patient safety, unjustly costing Boly her job. Last Friday, a Portland jury agreed.

Boly said she was trying to help two years ago when she complained to managers at Legacy Good Samaritan, warning them that cost-cutting steps could be dangerous to patients.

“I just have always had a long standing desire to help people,” Boly said. “I was just frustrated with Legacy. They have the right tools to do the right thing, and they choose not to do it.”

Boly said the hospital had set a new standard for nurses, with a quota of how many patients they should see in a day.

Mick Seidl, Boly’s attorney, said plan that saved the hospital time and money, but put patients in danger.

“The senior managers of Legacy were making millions of dollars in bonuses at the same time that they're forcing nurses to rush through their procedures simply to gain more revenue from these medical procedures.”

When Boly voiced her concerns, Seidl said managers at Legacy responded, but not by addressing the problem.

Instead, court records show they started an email chain about how to get rid of the nurse who'd worked at their hospital for 34 years.

“I call her Nurse Nightingale. She's the nurse you want at your bedside,” Seidl said of Boly. “Legacy's behavior in this case was shameful.”

Friday a jury agreed that Boly was wrongfully terminated and awarded her more than $3 million.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the hospital wrote, "Legacy Health wholeheartedly disagrees with the verdict as it completely misrepresents Legacy's commitment to quality patient care."

The statement also noted that the hospital is, ”evaluating all our options in response to the verdict."

Boly hopes that the verdict spoke loudly enough that hospital administrators will hear and change their policies.

“I was in shock. It's hard to read juries, but I think the jury spoke very loudly and clearly,” she said. “I think this is one for all nurses and their patients. You just cannot sacrifice patient safety.”

Boly said she is still a nurse, and despite the verdict she is now working at a different local hospital.

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