In a legal victory for Adventist Medical Center-Hanford, a Kings County judge ruled Tuesday that two female employees who sued for sexual harassment and retaliation must take their case to binding arbitration.
Their lawsuit against Adventist said a male nurse exposed and fondled himself in front of one of them, which she videotaped. It also said she was touched and kissed by a doctor without her consent, while a witness who reported it was the victim of retaliation.
Fresno attorney Kevin Little, representing the women, said Judge James LaPorte made the decision final Tuesday.
Because the case is now in arbitration, Little said he couldn’t comment on it.
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Adventist Medical Center spokeswoman Christine Pickering said she could not comment on the case.
Last week, Little held a news conference accusing the hospital of trying to cover up the alleged harassment of surgical assistant/technician Nuvia Green and retaliating against imaging technician Amy Miller.
He said Dr. Seetharaman Ashok touched and kissed Green without her consent. Miller witnessed it and was falsely accused by the doctor of misconduct and incompetence, Little said.
Little also said anesthesia nurse Richard McGrory exposed himself to Green in the operating room and the hospital did nothing when she reported it. That prompted her to videotape him exposing himself and masturbating, the attorney said.
The ruling puts the lawsuit against Adventist on hold; the court noted that Green and Miller signed the employee handbook agreeing to arbitration.