California’s state hospital system and three of its workers must forfeit a joint $1 million reward to a state hospital psychologist subsequent to a jury deciding she was forced to state pronounce psychologically unwell patients fit for trial utilizing dubious evaluation techniques and then terminated for revealing the procedure. Napa State Hospital psychologist Melody Jo Samuelson’s claim finished with a trial last one month and a decision that she experience whistleblowing retaliation. A judge on February 21, 2014 verified the jury’s verdict.

As stated by court records, the state of California employed Samuelson in early 2006 and gave her privileges at Napa State Hospital that consisted of evaluating illegally charged patients’ suitability to be on trial. The records disclosed that she obtained positive reviews. Only just after Samuelson began work, the state and federal government agreed on modifications to stop civil rights abuses at Napa and three other state hospitals where psychologically unwell patients suffered without therapy.

Samuelson’s complaint asserted that James Jones, the Napa hospital’s psychology chief, clarified that he was obligated to sending patients back to court as fit to be on trial. As maintained by the complaint, to accomplish that, Jones reduced assessment criteria and forced personnel to utilize defective techniques to decide patients’ fitness. Samuelson’s court filing claimed that Jones’ plan was to remove patients from the hospital and better result statistics, but patients were in danger of having their psychologists giving evidence that they were fit to be on trial when they were actually unfit to be on trial. The complaint stated that Jones utilized the hospital’s colleague-evaluation techniques.

The complaint asserted that Jones and two other staff members, colleague-evaluation proctor Deborah White and supervisor Nami Kim, jointly arranged a succession of castigatory efforts that consisted of testifying falsely about Samuelson, influencing her qualifications file, and utilizing the colleague-evaluation procedure to shake her down. It claimed that the three of them then misleadingly charged Samuelson with perpetrating perjury throughout testimony in a patient’s case, resulting in the hospital dismissing her on August 9, 2010. Samuelson petitioned the firing to the State Personnel Board, which commanded her to be re-established in 2011. However, Samuelson claimed that the retaliation persisted. Her complaint stated that her salary was bilked, that the department removed insurance premium contributions from back pay for coverage Samuelson never obtained and documents established fabricated stayed in her file. As stated by the court records, the hospital appointed her to an entry-level job rather than going back to a clinical job that would aid in advancing her career.  On February 21, 2014, a jury concurred with Samuelson’s whistleblower retaliation claim. It slapped the Department of State Hospitals with an $890,000 decision for compensation. Jones was instructed to forfeit $50,000 and Kim and White $30,000 each of their parts.

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