Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman LLP won a complete defense victory for the Cook County Health and Hospital System (CCHHS) in a retaliatory discharge and whistleblower case. Leading the defense in Mohammad Vaseemuddin, M.D. v. Cook County, Cook County Health and Hospital System, were attorneys, Manuel Sanchez and Heather D. Erickson.
The plaintiff, formerly employed by CCHHS, alleged he was discharged from his position on December 4, 2013 in retaliation for complaints he made against CCHHS between March and September of 2012 regarding patient care, his benefits as an employee and working conditions. Vaseemuddin further claimed that due to those complaints and his subsequent dismissal, he was denied employment with additional health care systems in the area.
During the case, initially filed in the United States District Court of the Northern District of Illinois, the defense presented evidence that Vaseemuddin had accepted a contract to work full-time for another hospital more than six months prior to his termination and was discharged for job abandonment. Before the trial, the defense offered Vaseemuddin a $250,000 settlement, which was rejected in lieu of a request for $6 million. At trial, Vaseemuddin asked for damages in excess of $9 million for lost wages, emotional distress and damage to his reputation as a result of termination.
The jury returned a full defense verdict in favor of CCHHS.
Sanchez, managing partner for Sanchez, Daniels & Hoffman and lead defense attorney for CCHHS, called the verdict a huge win.
“This case was completely without merit and we were confident that once all the evidence was presented at trial, the jury would agree,” Sanchez said. “We are absolutely thrilled with this verdict.”
Assisting Sanchez and Erickson on the case was associate, Meghan White.