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$3.6 Million in Damages Awarded in Employment Discrimination Case

This is a settlement for the lawsuit.

Dallas, TX: The jury hearing an employment discrimination lawsuit filed against the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has awarded damages of $3.6 million to Dr. Naiel Nassar, who alleged that the hospital discriminated and retaliated against Dr. Nassar because of his race and religion.

A Muslim and Egyptian native, Dr. Nassar began working for UT Southwestern in 2001, where he was a well-respected physician in the hospital's HIV Clinic. He is double board certified in internal medicine and infectious disease medicine.

At trial, jurors heard evidence that Dr. Nassar became a target of systemic discrimination under Dr. Beth Levine, Chief of Infectious Disease Medicine, beginning in 2004. Attorneys alleged that Dr. Levine made numerous discriminatory comments about Dr. Nassar and other physicians of various racial and religious backgrounds.

Trial testimony also showed that Dr. Levine delayed promoting Dr. Nassar based on his race and religious beliefs. Subsequently, Dr. Nassar resigned from UT Southwestern to take a new position at Parkland Hospital. In a letter of resignation to Dr. J. Gregory Fitz, Dean of the UT Southwestern School of Medicine and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Nassar made it clear that he was resigning because of ongoing racial and religious discrimination.

Drs. Levine and Fitz then worked to block Dr. Nassar from taking the new position at Parkland Hospital by refusing to give him a favorable recommendation and warning Parkland not to hire him. Because of these coordinated efforts to undermine his offer from Parkland, Dr. Nassar was forced to take a position at a hospital and medical school in California.

Following a six-day trial and forty-five minutes of deliberation, jurors found that UT Southwestern constructively discharged Dr. Nassar because of his race, religion or national origin, and retaliated against him by objecting to his potential employment at Parkland Hospital.

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Published on Jun-1-10


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