Doctor Wins Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Laguna Hospital

Derek Kerr was a hospice physician at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco for 21 years. Kerr and a colleague both lost there jobs in 2010 after filing a whistleblower complaint about the misuse of a patient gift fund.

According to the SFExaminer, the hospital started using donations meant for the patient gift fund to hire staff for a hospital-connected non-profit and for a capital project.

Kerr was fired one day after the city’s Ethics Commission received the complaint.

The settlement included $750,000 in compensation, a plaque commemorating his service placed in the hospital, and training for the hospital’s executive administrator on whistle-blowing and First Amendment rights.

Kerr says that his medical career is over and he wishes to dedicate his time advocating for other whistleblowers. Kerr says, “You can destroy someone’s career and the City will protect you.”

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