Mount Sinai faces lawsuit over age, sex discrimination in its global health institute

Eight current and former employees of Mount Sinai Health System's global health institute filed a federal lawsuit April 26 against the health system and several officials for alleged sex and age discrimination that led to the demotion or resignation of women in senior leadership, Science magazine reported.

The complaint was filed by seven former and current female employees and one former male employee. Defendants include:

  • Mount Sinai Health System (New York City)
  • Prabhjot Singh, MD, PhD, director of the Arnhold Institute for Global Health at Mount Sinai Health System's Icahn School of Medicine
  • Dennis Charney, MD, dean of the Icahn School of Medicine
  • Bruno Silva, director of design and product development at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health
  • David Berman, chief of staff at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health

The lawsuit centers on Dr. Singh's leadership as director of the global health institute. It alleges he disparaged, discriminated against and demoted employees at the institute, predominantly female employees over age 40, and hired younger male friends and acquaintances. It also alleges he violated research ethics and HIPAA and lied to investors.

The lawsuit alleges that under Dr. Singh's leadership, other officials exhibited similar behavior toward women. Mr. Berman "was known for violent screaming at women at AIGH," according to the complaint. Mr. Silva allegedly addressed women, including fellow employees and donors, with sexist slurs.

The complaint says Dr. Charney hired Dr. Singh to the role after a female candidate, who was endorsed by a selection committee. The female candidate withdrew her application following an exchange with Dr. Charney, in which he called her "an idiot" in red capital letters via email, according to the lawsuit.

The medical school told Science it doesn't comment on pending litigation, but it denies the allegations of discrimination. The school said employee complaints spurred an internal review and "appropriate steps were taken." The lawsuit claims the review and actions were insufficient.   

Read the full story here.


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