The nurse at Queens Medical Center in Hawaii who found a hangman’s noose attached to her locker has been awarded a $3.8 million payout. The Circuit Court jury awarded the money to Ellen Harris Wednesday.
The 2011 suit alleges the racially offensive incidents happened after Harris reported that patient safety was being jeopardized. She received a note in her work mailbox that said “lazy a** ni**er b*tch” and then on Christmas Eve of that same year, she found a picture on her locker of a noose. “After I got the noose, I said I just wasn’t going to go back anymore,” Harris said. “It was kind of that fear after that, especially not knowing exactly who did it, because no one admitted to doing it.”
Harris’ attorney Carl Varady, said the hospital “never apologized, never admitted liability, tried to degrade and criticize and make Ellen out to be a liar.”
It didn’t take the jury long to side with Harris and awarded her $600,000 for emotional stress and $3.2 million in punitive damages. The hospital’s director of corporate communications Cedric Yamanaka said, “We are very disappointed in today’s verdict and will be filing an appeal. Because this is pending litigation, we will not comment further.”