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Mike Guss Obtains Summary Disposition In Seven-Count Federal Civil Rights Claim

Timothy Keeler v Hurley Medical Center, et. al., United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Plaintiff is a physician’s assistant who worked for Hurley Medical Center from 1997 until he was discharged in September 2016. He filed a complaint claiming Hurley violated his First Amendment rights by retaliating against him for his constitutionally protected speech; for engaging in union activities; and for filing the instant lawsuit. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that he was singled out for discipline and eventually discharged in retaliation for urging Hurley to adopt a policy governing the prescription of narcotic medications, for reporting that his supervisor collected pay for days he did not work, for participating in organizing a union for physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners, and for filing the instant lawsuit. He also claimed Hurley violated his procedural due process rights, wrongfully discharged him, and violated the Michigan Whistleblowers’ Protection Act. At the close of discovery, we filed a motion for summary judgment on each count, asserting that the evidence clearly showed that plaintiff’s rude treatment of patients – and nothing else – was the reason Hurley disciplined and ultimately terminated him, and not because they were motivated to retaliate against him for any of the reasons he alleged. The Court agreed with us and granted our motion for summary judgment as to plaintiff’s federal claims and dismissed plaintiff’s state claims without prejudice.