A federal court ruled Thursday that Massachusetts General Hospital did not discriminate against a female surgeon because of her gender.
Dr. Nina Shervin, a former orthopedic surgery resident and one of just a handful of women who worked in the orthopedics department at Massachusetts General Hospital, maintained that her former employer engaged in gender discrimination by putting her on probation and refusing to provide her with a permanent staff position after she complained.
A U.S. District Court jury disagreed with Dr. Shervin’a assertions. The jury, made up of three men and six women, ruled in favor of Massachusetts General and its codefendants (Partners HealthCare, the parent company of Mass. General; Harvard Medical School; the physicians organization; Dr. James Herndon, the hospital’s director of residency training; and Dr. Harry Rubash, chief of orthopedic surgery). The aforementioned parties were accused of gender discrimination, retaliation, and interferance with Dr. Shervin’s efforts to obtain a job after finishing her training.
According to a May 16 article in the Boston Globe, Dr. Shervin’s legal team plans to pursue a new trial in U.S. District Court and file an appeal in the First District Court. The article quotes Ellen Zucker, one of Dr. Shervin’s attorneys, saying that “there was strong evidence” that the judge in the case failed to allow her client to present the jury, including “the substance of a Harvard Medical School review of the MGH Department of Orthopaedics which directly addressed issues with departmental leadership and the Department’s hiring practices.’’
It should be noted that the jury was not able to consider whether Massachusetts General Hospital discriminated against Dr. Shervin when it placed her on probation in early 2007 because it happened too long ago (under the statute of limitations).