Doctor wins retaliation claim against clinic
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal jury awarded $1.2 million to a Bismarck doctor who said his employer retaliated against him for speaking out against alleged racial discrimination.
Dr. Robert Roswick filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Mid Dakota Clinic in 2017 claiming he was unjustly disciplined by the clinic’s board of directors for publicly opposing the firing of an Indian-American physician.
After a five-day trial last week, a jury ruled in Roswick’s favor, finding that the clinic retaliated against him for his opposition to the reported racial discrimination. He was awarded lost wages and benefits.
“We’re grateful at the strength and wisdom and courage that the jury showed,” said Roswick’s attorney, Ashwin Madia.
Clinic spokeswoman Jane Schlinger declined to comment on the verdict or whether the clinic plans to appeal.
Roswick, who is white, opposed the firing of an Indian-American physician in 2015. Prior to the doctor being fired, Roswick sent an email to about 20 doctors at the clinic about the physician’s suspension.
Madia told the clinic in a letter that Roswick “simply pointed out that the Clinic’s disparate treatment” of the physician compared with that of “other white physicians was problematic and discriminatory.”
Roswick was fired for various reasons, including that he didn’t meet with the clinic’s attorney regarding his allegations of racial discrimination against the doctor, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
Despite not being awarded punitive damages, Roswick, who is now a family medicine physician at Sanford Health in Bismarck, is still pleased with the outcome of the case, Madia said.
“For him, this case wasn’t really about the money. He felt the clinic retaliated against him for standing up for somebody who wasn’t able to stand up,” Madia said.
Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com