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Medical Malpractice - Whistleblowing Nurse Dismissed of Criminal Charges

Each day as a Detroit personal injury lawyer, clients are represented who have been the victims of medical malpractice and doctor’s negligence. Because these accidents can cause severe personal injury or death, it is important that all individuals who witness medical malpractice to report it. Unfortunately, these brave whistleblowers are often met with harsh consequences for doing the right thing, as seen by the case of nurse Anne Mitchell, who was accused of criminal charges because of her actions againstmedical malpractice. As a result, health care workers now have deep-rooted anxieties about the consequences of whistleblowing co-workers that they suspect are practicing unsafe medicine.

After altering her state medical board that she believed a doctor in the same hospital was practicing substandard or unsafe medicine, Mitchell was charged with third degree felony criminal charges. For what she was accused, the maximum punishment is ten years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. The prosecution against her maintained that she had a “personal vendetta” against Dr. Rolando G. Arafiles Jr., accused physician since they started working together in 2008. It was argued to the court that she used her position as a nurse to her advantage and dismantled confidential information, including patient file numbers in her letter. Furthermore, it was said that Mitchell violated state law that requires all reports of medical malpractice to be made in good faith.

At the conclusion of the four-day trial, Mitchell was found to be not guilty by the jury on all charges. Each juror voted to dismiss the charges, even adding that they questioned why the nurse was arrested in the first place. A high school custodian serving on the jury commented, “We just don’t see the wrongdoing of sending the file numbers in, since she’s a nurse.” Following the verdict, Mitchell reinforces the mission statement of all nurses stating, ”It’s a duty of every nurse to take care of patients.”

Medical malpractice is devastating because it breaks the bond of trust between a patient and a medical practitioner. Accidents in the operating room or medical clinic can have life changing consequences and result in irreversible personal injury. For the best legal representation and legal advice for your case, it is essential to contact a hard-working and experienced Detroit personal injury attorney immediately.