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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: San Francisco | Labor & Workers
SF settles lawsuit for $750K But Bullying and Corruption Continues
The SF Mayor Lee and City Attorney Herrera have settled a case of discrimination and bullying against Laguna Honda Hospital against two doctors Dr. Derrick Kerr and Dr. Maria Rivera for $750,000. After exposing the financial malfeasance of the managers they were bullied by the and fired while the managers under top city officials including Ed Lee. Systemic corruption and bullying still continues unabated.
San Francisco settles lawsuit for $750K, restores reputation of former Laguna Honda doctor-SF City Corruption And Bullying Continues
San Francisco settles lawsuit for $750K, restores reputation of former Laguna Honda doctor
By: Chris Roberts | 03/26/13 9:41 PM
S.F. Examiner Staff Writer
Derek Kerr called attention to impropriety at Laguna Honda Hospital.
Laguna Honda Hospital won’t be able to forget Derek Kerr — ever.
In addition to a $750,000 cash payout, the former hospice physician — whose 21 years of service at The City’s long-term care hospital ended with a layoff after he filed whistle-blower complaints alleging misuse of a patient gift fund — will be honored with a plaque commemorating his service, to be installed at the hospital. In addition, he’ll be publicly lauded by the same officials who allegedly retaliated against him.
The agreement was set in a settlement approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.
The officials alleged to have orchestrated his ouster in response to speaking up, including hospital executive administrator Mivic Hirose, who must also receive an hour’s worth of training on whistle-blowing and First Amendment rights.
Kerr said he feels vindicated by the settlement and noted that his professional reputation has been restored thanks to the settlement.
“But I don’t feel joyful,” he said.
“They should never have driven me out, and I should never have had to sue The City. It’s a lose-lose.”
Kerr and fellow physician Maria Rivero lost their jobs in the hospital’s hospice unit in 2010 after they filed complaints alleging that donations to the patient gift fund were instead spent on hiring staff for a hospital-connected nonprofit, in a possible conflict of interest, and on a capital project. Kerr received his layoff notice one day after The City’s Ethics Commission received his complaint.
He filed a lawsuit in 2010. In an interview Tuesday, Deborah Kochan, Kerr’s attorney, said the nonmonetary terms of the settlement are “above and beyond” typical settlements.
Whistle-blower complaints are supposed to be investigated by The City’s Ethics Commission, but like Kerr and Rivero, other city whistle-blowers have gone to the courts to resolve their cases.
A pair of emergency dispatchers received a $762,000 settlement in summer 2012 after they claimed retaliation following complaints about a lax working environment.
None of the officials alleged in the lawsuit to have orchestrated Kerr’s ouster lost their jobs or were otherwise disciplined.
“That sends a message,” said Kerr, who says his medical practice is over; he is instead dedicating his time to advocating for other whistle-blowers. “You can destroy someone’s career and The City will protect you.”
“There’s a problem, a glitch somewhere,” he said, “if whistle-blowers can be retaliated against and complaints are buried.”
Neither the Department of Public Health, which oversees Laguna Honda Hospital, nor the City Attorney’s Office, which negotiated the settlement, responded to requests for comment Tuesday.
Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2013/03/san-francisco-settles-lawsuit-750k-restores-reputation-former-laguna-honda-doctor#.UVKFttF5nUg.aolmail#ixzz2OiVltss6
SF City Doctor At SF Laguna Honda Hospital Discusses Bullying In The Workplace
Dr. Derek Kerr spoke at a forum on the issue of the epidemic of bullying against public workers in Northern California and discussed how to defend yourself when facing bullying in the workplace.
He and Dr. Maria Rivera at Laguna Honda Hospital were targeted, bullied and fired after whistleblowing against the financial malfeasance by the manager of the hospital. This was presented at a public forum on March 2, 2013 presented by the Stop Workplace Bullying Group SWBG, National Injured Workers Network http://www.iwnn.org and the United Public Workers For Action http://www.upwa.info
For more information on the Laguna Honda case go to:
Production of United Public Workers For Action
Ed Lee with the support of the board of Supervisors is making a financial settlement for corruption and malfeasance while the managers and who were involved with the financial crimes remain city employees