Galveston nurse sues UTMB for discrimination

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jul. 16, 2009, 6:21am

GALVESTON � Reportedly dismissed for neglecting to activate a hospital's rapid response system, a Galveston County woman claims she was terminated from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston because of her race, recent court documents say.

Edna Hosea Goins, a registered nurse, explains she and other employees were accused of the offense in question that occurred on Oct. 26, 2008, but the 120-year-old medical institution fired only her from her position as Nurse Clinician II.

She argues the defendant targeted her for her African American identity.

Goins's wrongful termination suit was filed in Galveston County District Court on July 7.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff was tendered an intent to terminate and was ultimately dismissed in relation to an alleged failure to follow chain-of-command and implement the aforementioned rapid response system, which indicates a patient's deteriorating conditions.

"The underlying facts reveal that the information with respect to the subject patients was tendered by two doctors � neither of whom activated the rapid response team," it states.

The suit adds the plaintiff bore the brunt of the blame and was fired.

Shortly afterwards, Goins claims she learned that she was not the only one disciplined for not administering the rapid response procedures.

Goins alleges that department officials reprimanded some of the plaintiff's colleagues, but did not terminate them.

One of the co-accused was a white man who also works as a registered nurse, according to the complaint. The suit says he only suffered demotion from his charge position.

"This disparate treatment is illegal and in violation of Texas law," the original petition states.

Goins, who hired Galveston attorney Anthony P. Griffin, seeks damages in the excess of $150,000.

Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss is presiding over the case.

Case No. 09CV1149

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