A jury in Georgia has awarded Sara Castle, a former nursing student, $450,000 in damages in a whistleblower lawsuit. When Mrs. Castle was thrown out of nursing school just 13 weeks before graduating, she felt humiliated. She believed that the students in the nursing school weren’t getting the clinical training they needed. This was because an instructor repeatedly dismissed students early — a practice Mrs. Castle exposed – and the teacher was subsequently fired. But Mrs. Castle was then dismissed as a student by Appalachian Technical College and she contended was expelled because she had blown the whistle.
The jury found for Mrs. Castle and awarded $450,000 in damages with $50,000 of the amount being punitive. While the 55-year-old never finished her degree, she says telling the college administration what was happening was the right thing to do. Mrs. Castle said she and other students would arrive for clinical training early in the morning, but by 8 a.m., the instructor would dismiss the students. A total of 740 hours of hands-on training is required for a degree. According to Mrs. Castle, meeting that requirement would have been impossible based on the instructor’s actions.
Mrs. Castle said she and her husband had moved to Jasper so she could attend the college and “pursue her dream of being a nurse.” With their children grown, she felt the time was right for her to go back to school. This was a situation when a person saw a wrong and reported it – was punished for reporting – and was ultimately compensated for doing the right thing. Unfortunately, her dream of becoming a nurse was derailed.
Source: Atlanta-Journal Constitution
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