UVA appeals nurse decision for 4th time

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The University of Virginia will be paying Susan Jordan’s legal fees in a case UVA appealed four times.
Rammelkamp Foto The University of Virginia will be paying Susan Jordan’s legal fees in a case UVA appealed four times. Rammelkamp Foto

The University of Virginia Health System remains undaunted that three reviewers of its firing of a nurse have found the termination unfair, and will appeal for a fourth time to the Virginia Court of Appeals.

Susan Jordan was fired from UVA Medical Center April 23, 2014, for looking at her ill ex-husband’s medical records “without authorization,” according to her termination papers—even though he asked her to access them and help him understand them, and she held his power of attorney.

A hearing officer with the Department of Human Resource Management in Richmond ruled August 18 that UVA Medical Center’s insistence on termination contradicted its own policies and training manuals, and called the hospital’s decision “a sham and a fraud perpetrated upon its employees.”

Two administrative reviewers in that department agreed, and UVA appealed to Albemarle Circuit Court, where Judge Cheryl Higgins again ruled in Jordan’s favor March 24.

UVA lawyer Lynne Fleming declined to comment on the pending litigation, but said the decision to appeal “was approved by all the health system’s senior leadership.”

Jordan’s attorney, Janice Redinger, said her client isn’t backing off. She is also is dealing with the loss of her ex-husband, with whom she’d remained close before he died in January, and her mother, who passed away May 18.

The Court of Appeals will look for error in the circuit court decision, a narrower scope than previous hearings, explained Redinger, and it could be five months before it rules.