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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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harassment by the doctor on the medical floor, what are my

Customer Question

harassment by the doctor on the medical floor, what are my chances of winning if i pursue my plan of filing a case against him
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 2 years ago.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

What's the nature of the harassment? Are you an employee of the hospital / subordinate of the doctor? Or just a patient / visitor?

Customer :

im an employee of the hospital

Customer :

i would say mistreatment

Customer :

he likes to yell in front of everybody, he likes nurses to cry in front of him by humiliating

ScottyMacEsq :

What's the reason for the mistreatment, and what specific acts / evidence / etc... would you have against him?

Customer :

the physician was standing at the counter when i was trying to approach him regarding his patient that i was taking care of, when i address him doc he start yelling at me that "we are not friends dont you ever me call doc.

Customer :

and he called my charge nurse and likes other nurses to take care of his patient instead

ScottyMacEsq :

Any other statements / actions taken against you by this individual? What has management / HR said in regards to his actions/

Customer :

according to my other colleagues, they have some incident also worst than mine, they complain to the management and nothing happened

Customer :

i think this doctor is untouchable

ScottyMacEsq :

Are you a member of a union or otherwise a contracted employee? Is the hospital a public or private hospital?

Customer :

its a community hospital

Customer :

im not a member of union

Customer :

i have just started in this job 2 months ago

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you. First of all, let me say that I am sorry to hear about the situation that you're in. Employment law has come a long way from even 50 years ago, but it is still very employer friendly. "Harassment" and "discrimination", on their own, are not illegal. Only illegal harassment or illegal discrimination is illegal, and actionable as such. That is, if the harassment and/or discrimination is based upon age, gender, religion, race, sexual orientation (in CA at least) then you might have a cause of action against the employer for failure to remedy the situation. BUT a general harassment or discrimination not based upon those factors will almost always be legal and not actionable. An employer (and an employer's agent, such as the doctor) can play "favorites" and be jerks. Only when the actions become so much that from an objective standpoint, it's unreasonable to allow anyone to act like that, would a court then step in and take action.

ScottyMacEsq :

Again, without some evidence that this harassment is related to your gender or race, it wouldn't really be a cause of action based on "harassment". Now you could have a cause of action based on either "negligent infliction of emotional distress" or "intentional infliction of emotional distress".

Customer :

in short can i go ahead and take legal action? or just let the management do the first step, i dont understand

ScottyMacEsq :

These are the civil torts (court made common law rather than legislature made statutory law)...

ScottyMacEsq :

One moment please while I finish...

ScottyMacEsq :

"The elements of the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress are: '(1) extreme and outrageous conduct by the defendant with the intention of causing, or reckless disregard of the probability of causing, emotional distress; (2) the plaintiff's suffering severe or extreme emotional distress; and (3) actual and proximate causation of the emotional distress by the defendant's outrageous conduct.' " (Christensen v. Superior Court (1991) 54 Cal.3d 868, 903 [2 Cal.Rptr.2d 79, 820 P.2d 181], internal citation omitted.) "Conduct to be outrageous must be so extreme as to exceed all bounds of that usually tolerated in a civilized community." (Davidson v. City of Westminster (1982) 32 Cal.3d 197, 209 [185 Cal.Rptr. 252, 649 P.2d 894].) " 't is generally held that there can be no recovery for mere profanity, obscenity, or abuse, without circumstances of aggravation, or for insults, indignities or threats which are considered to amount to nothing more than mere annoyances.' " (Yurick v. Superior Court (1989) 209 Cal.App.3d 1116, 1128 [257 Cal.Rptr. 665], internal citations omitted.)

ScottyMacEsq :

The California Supreme Court has allowed plaintiffs to bring negligent infliction of emotional distress actions as "direct victims" in only three types of factual situations: (1) the negligent mishandling of corpses (2) the negligent misdiagnosis of a disease that could potentially harm another and (3) the negligent breach of a duty arising out of a preexisting relationship.

ScottyMacEsq :

Now in certain instances (where the boss is a former drill instructor and acting like a drill instructor, that actually causes identifiable, physical manifestations of emotional distress, would that be actionable. But it is a very difficult tort to prove.

ScottyMacEsq :

Without a contract or employment policies that spell out employee rights or employer obligations (that were violated) and without the extreme and outrageous behavior (even though he is certainly a jerk and, in my opinion, should be accountable for his words and actions), and without an illegally discriminatory intent (based on age, race, religon, etc...) I'm afraid that you won't have any good cause of action against him or the hospital.

ScottyMacEsq :

You can sue. Anyone can sue anyone for anything. A lawsuit is merely a legal complaint. It does not require that the person be right when the suit is filed. That is what the judges are for: making determinations of law. But the chances of winning your lawsuit are very slim to none.

ScottyMacEsq :

I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it's the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please select the "accept" button. If you do click "accept", or if you will in the future, please let me know so I can track these for my own reports and customer satisfaction stats. Thank you, and again, good luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq :

Did you have any other questions before you click "accept"?

ScottyMacEsq :

Should I continue to await your response, or can I assist other customers that are waiting?

ScottyMacEsq :

My apologies. I must assist the other customers that are waiting. If you have any other questions, please let me know, and I will get to them as soon as possible. If not, please select the "accept" button so I can get credit for my work and the time that I spent on your question. Thank you, and again, good luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq :

I see that you have not responded in some time. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please select the "accept" button. If you have already clicked "accept", or if you will in the future, please let me know so I can track these for my own reports and customer satisfaction stats. Thank you, and again, good luck to you!

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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq
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Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney