Boyce Attorneys Lisa Marso and Matt Murphy Obtain Favorable Jury Verdict for Local Hospital in Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

October 19, 2015 • Boyce Law Firm, LLP

On October 19, 2015, after over three years of litigation, a Davison County, South Dakota jury entered a verdict in favor of a local hospital, finding that it did not wrongfully terminate one of its former employees, an ophthalmologist.  Boyce Attorneys Lisa Marso and Matt Murphy represented the hospital throughout the case.

In late 2011, the hospital terminated the plaintiff after it determined she posed a danger to the health and safety of its patients.  At trial, the plaintiff’s attorney argued that the hospital did not undertake an adequate investigation prior to making that decision and he asserted that the information the hospital relied upon did not justify its actions.  The plaintiff testified that she has been unable to find work as a physician since the termination.  During her case-in-chief, she presented an economic expert who testified that her lost wages would total nearly $6 million.  In closing arguments, the plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award her just over $750,000, an amount that would have totaled nearly $1 million  after interest was added.  The jury found in favor of the hospital and awarded the plaintiff nothing.

Various claims were litigated throughout the case, including the plaintiff’s claims for negligent misrepresentation, fraud, breach of contract, slander/libel/defamation, discrimination, negligence/negligence per se, retaliation, due process violations, 42 U.S.C. §1983, tortious interference, and punitive damages.  Early in the case, the plaintiff also made claims against three other individual defendants, including a hospital employee and two other local physicians who were not hospital employees.  By the time trial began, Attorneys Marso and Murphy had succeeded in getting the three individually named defendants dismissed from the case altogether.