Washington hospital pays $1.5M to settle age discrimination lawsuit

Coupeville, Wash.-based WhidbeyHealth has agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by an orthopedic surgeon, according to the Whidbey News-Times.

James Elbaor, MD, sued WhidbeyHealth in March, alleging hospital administrators didn't hire him because of his age. Dr. Elbaor was 72 years old when he applied to the hospital.

The hospital's lawyer said age was not a factor in the decision. Hospital officials cited concerns over whether Dr. Elbaor would be able to get privileges at the hospital and other factors as the reasons they decided not to hire him.

In addition to settling the age discrimination lawsuit, WhidbeyHealth agreed to pay $38,000 to resolve a related public records violation. The hospital did not admit any wrongdoing in settling the cases.

"WhidbeyHealth vigorously denied, and continues to deny, engaging in any wrongdoing related to Dr. Elbaor or his attorney," the hospital said in a statement to the Whidbey News-Times. "These lawsuits were settled for business and practical reasons given the risks and burdens inherent in any litigation."

Access the full Whidbey News-Times article here.

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