Holtz & Reed Successfully Defends Hospital Supervisor in Superior Court Jury Trial

Posted on: Monday, March 3rd, 2014

The long journey of Nansamba v. North Shore Medical Center, Inc. – which had stops at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the United States District Court in Boston, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, and the state trial court – ended last week, with Jay Sullivan of Holtz & Reed obtaining a jury verdict for a defendant hospital supervisor after a four-day jury trial.

In 2002, North Shore Medical Center, Inc.’s Salem Hospital hired Janat Nansamba as a technical nursing assistant. During the early morning hours of May 7, 2010, Ms. Nansamba felt ill and left her overnight shift. Later that day, she informed her manager, Ellen Bova, that she would need time off.  Three days later, the hospital terminated Ms. Nansamba’s employment.  In doing so, it cited performance related reasons.  The plaintiff repaired to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and then the Massachusetts superior court, contending that the defendants, Salem Hospital and her supervisor Ms. Bova, had orchestrated her firing in retaliation for taking sick leave.

After the defendants removed the case to U.S. District Court, all of the plaintiff’s claims against the hospital were dismissed.  The U.S. District Court remanded a single claim to the state trial court, for tortious interference with advantageous relations against Ms. Bova.

In August 2013, the First Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by Nansamba, and upheld the District Court’s denial of Nansamba’s motion for relief from judgment.  See Nansamba v. North Shore Medical Center, Inc. et al., 727 F.3d 33 (1st Cir. 2013).

A jury trial on the claim against the supervisor followed.  On February 25, 2014, after a four-day trial, a jury in the Newburyport Superior Court entered a verdict against the plaintiff and in favor of the defendant supervisor.

Holtz & Reed successfully defended the hospital and the supervisor at the U.S. District Court, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, and at the Superior Court.


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