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Former Employees of Winkler County Hospital Settle Suit

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After multiple rounds of mediation, the two former nurses that filed a claim against Winkler County Memorial Hospital in Texas reached a settlement. The New York Times reports that the two nurses that were fired and criminally prosecuted for reporting allegations of improper medical treatment by Dr. Ronaldo Arafiles at the county hospital, will be splitting a $750,000 payment.

The nurses Anne Mitchell and Vickilyn Galle were acquitted of felony charges of misusing public information earlier this year. Their lawsuit, which named Dr. Arafiles and hospital administrator Stan Wiley as defendants in the suit, in addition to naming the county hospital as a defendant, stated that the two nurses had been subjected to vindictive prosecution and that they had been denied of their First Amendment rights.

Texas employment lawyers, who are experts on whistle-blower protection laws, alleged that the criminal prosecution was unprecedented. Their case was brought to the DA's office after a county sheriff, who is a friend of Dr. Arafiles, agreed to investigate the doctor's complaint.

Yet with a settlement in place, the hospital and other defendants are not admitting and guilt and are able to settle the dispute without acknowledging liability.

According to FindLaw, Texas whistleblower laws state that an employer cannot suspend, terminate, or take other adverse personnel action if an employee reports a violation of law by employer or other employee. If you've a victim of wrongful termination because of whistleblowing, it's a good idea to see a Houston employment lawyer to learn more information on filing a claim.

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