A Hawaii nurse was awarded $3.8 million last Wednesday for emotional distress and humiliation from enduring racist treatment at her previous place of employment.
KITV 4 reports former Queen’s Medical Center nurse, Ellen Harris sued the facility in 2013 for racial discrimination and retaliation after reporting concerns of patient safety. Harris worked at the center between 2006 and 2011. Following her reports, she received an anonymous note referring to her as a “lazy a** n**ger b**ch” and a photo of a noose.
“It was just kind of that fear after that, especially not knowing exactly who did it,” Harris said during a press conference.
Not only was she never informed as to whether any action was taken by Queen’s, she claims they never even offered an apology.
“No one said it was wrong. No one said this is not acceptable,” she continued.
A Hawaii jury voted in Harris’ favor. She’ll be given $3.2 million in punitive damages and $630 thousand in general damages from her lawsuit against Queen’s Medical Center. Queen’s has yet to claim any responsibility:
“We are very disappointed in today’s verdict and will be filing an appeal,” a representative for the medical center said. “Because this is pending litigation, we will not comment further.”
“From start to finish Queen’s never apologized, never admitted liability.. tried to degrade and criticize,” Harris’ lawyer Carl Varady said. “In closing argument yesterday, all they had to say about her was she’s a liar don’t believe her.. but the jury heard otherwise.”
Harris was moved by the jury’s decision.
“To hear a Hawaii jury say that was wrong .. That meant a lot to me.. more than anything,” she added.