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Physician awarded $3.6 million in Title VII race and religious bias case

A Texas jury has awarded a Muslim Egyptian physician more than $3.6 million in damages after determining his hospital employer discriminated and retaliated against him because of his race and religion in violation of Title VII, announced the physician’s firm the Aldous Law Firm (Nassar v University of Tex SW Med Ctr at Dallas, no 3:08-cv-1337). Following a six-day trial, jurors found that the hospital constructively discharged Nassar because of his race, national origin or religious preference and retaliated against him by objecting to his potential employment at another hospital.

Nassar began working for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 2001 in the hospital’s HIV clinic. During the trial, jurors heard evidence that he was the target of systemic discrimination under Dr. Beth Levine, Chief of Infectious Disease Medicine, beginning in 2004 after she became chief. Dr. Levine allegedly made numerous discriminatory comments about Nassar and other physicians of various racial and religious backgrounds. Trial testimony also showed that Dr. Levine delayed promoting Nassar based on his race and religious beliefs. In his resignation letter, Nassar stated he was leaving because of ongoing racial and religious discrimination. The hospital retaliated by refusing to give him a favorable recommendation and warning the new hospital not to hire him. Ultimately, Nassar took a position at a California hospital and medical school. Nassar was represented at trial by Charla G. Aldous of the Aldous Law Firm in Dallas, Texas.