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Nurse with rare brain disorder wins $4M suit against hospital
23 nov. 2014
by Selim Algar
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A Manhattan nurse practitioner with a rare brain disorder won a $4 million judgment last week against New York Presbyterian Hospital — seven years after she sued the hospital for forcing her to work in units that exacerbated her painful condition.
Rebecca Serdans, 48, has dystonia, a neurological condition that impairs mobility. In 2004, doctors implanted a deep brain stimulator in her head to ease the symptoms.
Electromagnetic waves — abundant at New York Presbyterian, where Serdans worked — disrupt the effectiveness of the device.
Serdans was able to work in the hospital’s Cardio-Thoracic Intensive Care Unit — where her device functioned without incident, she said.
But in 2007, she was switched to another unit, where her brain implant failed, leaving her in pain after a single shift and forcing her to get the device reprogrammed, she claimed.
“They knew what they were doing,” she said of the hospital.
She says the hospital stopped calling her in to work after she complained and asked to be transferred to a different area.
Serdans sued in 2008 and was won the $4 million judgment last week.
“We believe the verdict has no legal or factual basis and intend to appeal,” a hospital spokesperson said.
“This is a hospital worth $4 billion,” said her attorney, Derek Smith. “You would think that a hospital with a reputation for taking care of its patients would also take care of its employees.”
FILED UNDER LAWSUITS , NEW YORK PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITAL
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