Sexual harassment claim by a nurse against a doctor in NC

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Sexual harassment claim by a nurse against a doctor in NC

Consensual flirting relationship developed via text messaging and phone calls in the workplace. No physical contact was made. Dr. wants to fire nurse for valid reasons. Doctor has given nurse deadline to find another job 1 month before deadline. When reminded of the deadline, the nurse threatened a lawsuit. Does she have a valid claim? Does medical malpractice insurance normally cover this type of claim? Insurance company is the The Doctor’s Company. Typical time span of this type of case? Expected charges?

Asked on May 17, 2009 under Malpractice Law, North Carolina

Answers:

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This a very difficult situation. The doctor/employer (hosptital) faces a lot of exposure as a result of the relationship at work.  Doctors are generally supervisors/superiors to nurses and have an influence over them.  The fact that the doctor is now doing what amounts to be firing her, the inference is that he is doing that because she wont be physical....  The text messages are probably in tact and can be admitted court to show the impropriety of the doctor.  I would have to see the insurance policy of the doctor, but this is anot a malpractice claim, but rather something that the hospital may have coverage for under their general polict for employees.  However, it may not be one of the covered incidents/occurrences.  As the hosptal, I would palce my carrier on notice and be cautious of the situation with the nurse.    Call the insurance agent for the company to determine coverage.


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