State, federal lawsuits filed against hospital

WhidbeyHealth is being sued in state and federal court for allegedly violating the state Open Public Records Act and for alleged age discrimination.

Dr. James Elbaor, of Texas, filed a complaint for damages against the hospital district in U.S. District Court March 30. He’s asking for an undisclosed amount of money.

The lawsuit states that a WhidbeyHealth physician recruiter contacted Elbaor in 2016 and encouraged him to apply for an orthopedic surgeon position at the hospital. He is “highly qualified,” the lawsuit states; he completed his residency at Harvard University, served as a captain in the U.S Army Reserve and was commanding officer of an Army Reserve medical attachment.

The lawsuit states that the hospital’s human resources department started contacting Elbaor during the interviewing process and asking him his age. He did not provide his age, but hospital officials discovered he was over 70 years old, the lawsuit states.

Hospital staff members decided not to hire Elbaor because of his age; staff members were asked to “help contrive a pretextual reason not to hire Dr. Elbaor,” the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit also alleges that the hospital’s actions violated the Washington Law Against Discrimination, inflicted emotional distress, breached the “covenant of good faith and fair dealing” and breached a promise to consider the doctor’s application.

Then on April 27, Elbaor’s attorney, Gregory Albert of Seattle, filed a complaint in Island County Superior Court for injunctive relief and statutory damages.

The lawsuit states that Albert made a public records request to the hospital for documents related to Elbaor’s case. The lawsuit claims that the hospital missed multiple deadlines to produce the documents without communicating the cause of the delay or requesting additional time, which is a violation of the Open Public Records Act.

Albert claims that it’s been four months since he made the records request, and he hasn’t received any documents. The lawsuit states the hospital stopped communicating altogether with Albert.

“On information and belief, WhidbeyHealth is withholding documents because they are damaging to its defense in the federal court action,” the lawsuit states.

The hospital’s general counsel, Jake Kempton, said in an email that the hospital does not comment on pending litigation.

More in News

‘Bipartisan’ lawmaker faces challenger

When it comes to campaigning, state Rep. Norma Smith and her challenger… Continue reading

Burglar burned hole in door

A 17-year-old Mukilteo boy is accused of staying at a rental house… Continue reading

Fingerprints lead to suspect

Fingerprints led police to a suspect in the burglary of a South… Continue reading

Dryer fire extinguished

A swift response by South Whidbey firefighters saved a structure after a… Continue reading

DNA leads to burglary suspect

DNA evidence led to charges being filed against a man who allegedly… Continue reading

Langley council resolution supports carbon fee measure

Langley’s city council members voted Monday to support the state carbon emissions… Continue reading

Photo provided
                                The Shifty Sailors play at the Tall Ship Festival in Riga, Latvia in 2003 aboard the German sailing vessel Seute Deern. Pictured are Jim Amis, Mike Thelen, Wylie Vracin, Karl Olsen, Clarke Harvey, Vern Olsen (accordion), Ray Loe, Bruce Bardwell, Denny Armstrong (guitar), Jack Moeller and Peter Lawl.
Shifty Sailors celebrating 25th anniversary

The maritime-themed musical group Shifty Sailors will celebrate their 25th anniversary with… Continue reading

Haunted Petting Zoo hosted by 4-H club

This month Island County 4-H’s Kool Kritters will morph into Kreepy Kritters.… Continue reading

Author’s new book looks at dying at home

‘It’s my passion to demystify hospice’ — Karen J. Clayton

Most Read