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Memorial Hermann hit with $1M retaliation suit by former employee

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A former physician peer review coordinator for Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System has sued the health system for $1 million, claiming she was fired in retaliation after she refused to reveal confidential information.

In the lawsuit, pending in Harris County (Texas) District Court, Gertrude Johnson alleges that beginning in 2018 Memorial Hermann asked her to reveal confidential and protected information related to the health system’s surgeons’ peer review grades. She was allegedly asked to disclose the information during “filter committee” meetings, which are open meetings that are not confidential.

Ms. Johnson told several health system officials she believed disclosing the information to the filter committee would violate Texas and/or federal law. Despite her concerns, the health system allegedly required Ms. Johnson to share the information.

Ms. Johnson alleges she was fired in May 2018 for reporting her concerns about disclosing the confidential information. Although health system officials allegedly told Ms. Johnson her position had been eliminated, she claims Memorial Hermann planned to fill her position again in July 2018. Ms. Johnson alleges Memorial Hermann “created a pre-textual basis for the termination to hide its true intent.”

A Memorial Hermann spokesperson told Becker’s Tuesday morning that the health system had not been served with the lawsuit and had no comment on the pending litigation.