Who are Negin Behazin and Dignity Health?
Negin Behazin is a board-certified physician who specializes in internal medicine and pulmonary critical care. She has over 15 years of experience in treating patients with various respiratory and lung diseases, such as asthma, COPD, pneumonia, and pulmonary hypertension. She is also an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
Dignity Health is one of the largest healthcare systems in the United States, with more than 400 care centers, including hospitals, clinics, and urgent care facilities. It operates in 21 states and serves over 10 million patients annually. It is known for its mission of delivering compassionate, high-quality, and affordable health services.
What is the dispute between Negin Behazin and Dignity Health?
The dispute between Negin Behazin and Dignity Health started in 2019, when Dr. Behazin was hired by Dignity Health as a pulmonary critical care physician at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Stockton, California. She was the only female physician in her department and the only one with a Middle Eastern background.
According to Dr. Behazin, she faced discrimination and harassment from her male colleagues and supervisors, who treated her differently because of her gender and ethnicity. She claimed that they excluded her from meetings, denied her access to resources, gave her unfavorable assignments, and made derogatory comments about her appearance and accent.
Dr. Behazin also alleged that she witnessed several instances of medical malpractice and negligence at the hospital, such as misdiagnosis, improper treatment, delayed care, and falsification of records. She reported these issues to the management, but they were ignored or dismissed. She claimed that she was retaliated against for speaking up and exposing the problems.
In March 2020, Dr. Behazin was fired by Dignity Health without any valid reason or due process. She was told that her contract was terminated because of “poor performance” and “lack of fit”. She believed that this was a pretext to get rid of her because of her complaints and whistleblowing.
What are the legal actions taken by Negin Behazin and Dignity Health?
In response to the alleged wrongful termination and discrimination, Dr. Behazin took legal action against Dignity Health. She filed a lawsuit in the San Joaquin County Superior Court in June 2020, seeking damages for lost wages, emotional distress, and punitive damages. She also accused Dignity Health of violating several state and federal laws, such as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, the California Whistleblower Protection Act, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Dignity Health denied all the allegations made by Dr. Behazin and filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in August 2020. They argued that Dr. Behazin’s claims were baseless and unsupported by evidence. They also claimed that they had legitimate reasons to terminate her contract, such as poor patient satisfaction scores, low productivity, and failure to comply with hospital policies.
The court denied Dignity Health’s motion to dismiss in October 2020, ruling that Dr. Behazin had presented sufficient facts to support her claims and proceed with the case. The court also ordered both parties to engage in mediation to try to resolve the dispute amicably.
What is the current status of the case?
As of April 2023, the case is still pending in the court. The mediation process has not resulted in any settlement or agreement between Dr. Behazin and Dignity Health. Both parties are preparing for trial, which is scheduled to begin in June 2023.
Negin Behazin vs Dignity Health is a case of medical malpractice and discrimination that involves a female physician who was fired by a health care system after reporting problems and misconduct at the hospital where she worked. The case has raised questions about the quality and safety of health care services provided by Dignity Health, as well as the treatment and protection of whistleblowers and minority workers in the health care industry. The case is still ongoing and awaits a final verdict from the court.