Suits Allege D-H Failure to Accommodate
Some recent lawsuits have alleged that Dartmouth-Hitchcock failed to provide proper accommodations for residents with disabilities that included amnesia, lupus and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and illegally dismissed them from the program.
In April 2014, after a four-day jury trial, Judge William Sessions of the U.S. District Court in Burlington dismissed a 4-year-old lawsuit by Jennifer Connors, a former Dartmouth-Hitchcock psychiatry resident who alleged that the hospital had failed to make reasonable accommodations for her attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and in 2009 illegally dismissed her from the program.
Connors, who went on to complete her residency at the University of Vermont Medical Center (then Fletcher Allen), is now a licensed physician in Vermont with a psychiatry practice in Woodstock. Connors did not respond to telephone messages seeking comments.
In another lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court in Concord, Christyna Faulkner, a radiology resident at Dartmouth-Hitchcock from 2008 until 2010, alleges that the hospital failed to property accommodate her insomnia and illegally dismissed her from the program. Dartmouth-Hitchcock has filed a motion for summary judgment in the 27-month-old lawsuit, which is scheduled for trial in May. Faulkner, who has no lawyer and is representing herself, did not respond to telephone messages seeking comment.
Marc Bertrand, Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s associate dean for graduate medical education, said he could not comment on cases that are still pending but said that, in the case in which D-H had prevailed, “the resolution speaks for itself.” — Rick Jurgens