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Monday, July 15, 2019

Lawsuit: Memorial Hermann fired employee for refusing to share 'protected' information with committee


By John Suayan | Jul 3, 2018

HOUSTON – A Harris County woman alleges the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System fired her for refusing to commit an act she believes violated state law.

In a lawsuit filed against Memorial Hermann on June 29 in the Harris County 61st District Court, Gertrude Johnson explains that she – as the defendant’s Physician Peer Review Coordinator – was requested to reveal “confidential, privileged, and protected” information related to surgeons’ peer review grades during “filter committee” meetings.

The suit says the filter committee, however, “does not qualify as a medical peer review committee under Texas law” and “is an open meeting and is not confidential.” According to the original petition, Johnson disclosing the information to the filter committee was illegal.

The plaintiff produced reports about the wrongdoing in question, to which the defendant responded by terminating her.

“The defendant then created a pre-textual basis for the termination to hide its true intent, alleging that Ms. Johnson’s position had been terminated,” court papers state.

Consequently, Johnson seeks unspecified monetary damages.

She is represented by Michael Patrick Doyle, Patrick M. Dennis, and Jeffrey I. Avery of the law firm Doyle LLP in Houston.

Harris County 61st District Court Case No. 2018-43698

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