FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 13, 2020
Contact:Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
305.670.1101 Ext. 1023
QPWB WINS COMPLETE SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION ACTION – 42 U.S.C. §1983 EMPLOYMENT RELATED FIRST AMENDMENT AND PUBLIC SECTOR WHISTLEBLOWER ACTION
U.S. Labor and Employment Law – Constitutional Law – Public Sector Whistleblowers Act
PENSACOLA, Fla. ― QPWB’s Pensacola office partner, Diane M. Longoria, obtained a final summary judgment in federal court on all 13 counts, on behalf of Florida State University (FSU), its Board of Directors, the President of FSU, and three Deans in their official and individual capacities. Plaintiffs claimed damages of more than $1 million.Plaintiffs are husband and wife. Husband is a medical doctor who specializes in anesthesiology, and Wife is a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). FSU hired Wife (along with others) to develop a nurse anesthesia graduate degree program (“the NAP”).
Husband received a “courtesy appointment” with no duties or compensation, however shortly after the NAP opened, Wife changed Husband’s designation from a “courtesy appointment” to an “instructor of record,” which new position gave Husband a 10- month adjunct position with a salary of nearly $70,000.
When Plaintiffs’ contracts were not renewed the following year for substandard performance and policy violations, Plaintiffs sued for wrongful termination under federal and State law, alleging infringement on constitutional rights, retaliatory discharge and violations of Whistleblower Protection Act, claiming more than $3.5 million in economic losses alone. Defendants denied these claims and asserted that Plaintiffs’ contracts were non-renewed for legitimate non-retaliatory / non-discriminatory reasons.
Longoria prepared a comprehensive motion for summary judgment arguing each of the 13 counts should be dismissed. United States District Judge T. Kent Wetherell, II of the Northern District of Florida, agreed with the Defendants on all material points, granting summary judgment in favor of all Defendants against both Plaintiffs on all counts.
# # #
Diane M. Longoria is a Partner of the firm’s Pensacola office. She regularly represents clients in state and federal courts in private and public sector labor and employment law litigation and in medical malpractice litigation. Ms. Longoria has over 30 years of civil litigation experience in federal and state courts, at trial and appellate levels, and in formal and informal administrative proceedings. Ms. Longoria received her law degree in 1985 from Indiana University School of Law.
Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., is the largest minority and women owned law firm in the nation with 23 offices in the U.S. and abroad across a spectrum of industries in over 40 areas of practice. Our lawyers provide representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law.