WHISTLE BLOWER NURSES IN TEXAS PREVAIL!
I previously shared the story about Texas nurse Anne Mitchell who did the right thing and filed a complaint against a local doctor whom she believed was providing substandard care. The good doctor, Rolando G. Arafiles Jr., MD, took offense and had Nurse Mitchell charged with “misuse of official information,” a third-degree felony in Texas…with a potential for 10 years in prison.
At the ensuing trial, nurse Mitchell was found not guilty of the felony criminal charge. Talk about frivolous litigation!
Well…the story is not over.
It seems that nurse Mitchell filed her own lawsuit against the good doctor Arafiles. In her federal lawsuit, Mitchell alleged she had been subjected to vindictive prosecution and denied her First Amendment rights. The hospital and other defendants agreed to the settlement without acknowledging liability. The results: nurse Mitchell and another nurse will share a $750,000 settlement paid by the defendants.
And what has happened with Dr. Arafiles?
He was charged by the Texas Medical Board with numerous violations, including “failure to maintain adequate medical records, poor medical judgment, poor decision-making, overbilling, improper coding, nontherapeutic prescribing and/or treatment and intimidation of witnesses.”
The complaint alleges substandard treatment of nine patients in 2008 and 2009.
My Take: Kudos to the nurses!