OXFORD, Miss. — An Oxford doctor filed a lawsuit after she said she was fired for speaking out about a shortage of equipment at Baptist North Mississippi.
In a post on Facebook, Dr. Samantha Houston asked for masks for the hospital saying she needed baby monitors to observe patients remotely because there was no telemedicine.
According to the lawsuit, Houston was Chair of Medicine when she was fired and had worked at the hospital for four years without any disciplinary actions against her.
In the lawsuit, Houston asked for unspecified punitive damages, saying that the hospital interfered with her efforts to protect the lives of doctors and nurses.
The lawsuit said she was trying to get N-95 masks for nurses and doctors and that nurses wore paper masks that would not protect them like the N-95 masks doctors were wearing.
The lawsuit went on to say that Houston had obtained baby monitors for the hospital to be used because they did not have a system to communicate with COVID-19 patients remotely and that donated baby monitors could be used until a system was put in place.
Baptist Hospital said both of Houston's claims about the masks and the lack of telemedicine are false.
In the lawsuit Houston said that her efforts to improve safety at Baptist were deemed disruptive by the hospital.
The lawsuit claimed Houston has suffered anxiety and stress and a loss of income because of her termination. It also stated she is concerned that other medical professionals around the country are being treated like she is.
Houston’s lawsuit also said she is seeking punitive damages to deter the hospital and others from future grossly negligent or reckless disregard for safety.
Baptist Hospital sent FOX13 the following response to the lawsuit:
It is actually fortunate that Dr. Houston has chosen to file a lawsuit. Through litigation, Baptist will now be able to bring all of the facts relative to Dr. Houston’s departure to light instead of trying the case with half-facts through the media as attempted by Dr. Houston. Baptist will be vigorously defending this litigation because, as the evidence presented in court will show, Baptist has done nothing inappropriate. In fact, we are confident that we will be able to demonstrate in court that Dr. Houston was not acting in the best interest of our patients, medical staff, and employees.
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