Fired COVID Whistleblower Doesn’t Want to Settle His Case

Fired COVID Whistleblower Doesn’t Want to Settle His Case

Ming Lin, MD, the emergency medicine physician from Washington state who was fired early in the COVID pandemic for publicly airing alleged safety concerns, said he has broken with his lawyers over their advice to settle his case.

In a Facebook post, Lin said his lawyers “have asked me to accept a monetary settlement as they have abruptly determined that a trial would be too costly and is not worth the financial risk.”

Lin told the Cascadia Daily News that he wants his former employer, PeaceHealth, to admit wrongdoing instead.

“Morally this is unacceptable to me as my silence is not for sale,” Lin wrote in the Facebook post. “The objective of my lawsuit has always been to expose the facts that healthcare workers are retaliated against for speaking up for their patients’ safety. Acknowledgement is the first step needed to solve this problem.”

“To me the root of the problem has always been corporate healthcare as it prioritizes profit over patient care and staff safety,” he noted.

In May 2020, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington filed a lawsuit against PeaceHealth on behalf of Lin. About 2 months prior, Lin had written a letter to the chief medical officer of his hospital, St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Washington, and shared it on his Facebook page. He raised concerns about visitor screening, personal protective equipment, and testing of staff and patients, among others.

He subsequently lost his shifts at the hospital, according to earlier reporting by MedPage Today. Lin had worked at the hospital since 2003 and has been an emergency physician for more than 30 years, he said at the time.

As of press time, Lin had not returned a request for comment from MedPage Today, but he told the Cascadia Daily News that he would rather take the case to trial than accept settlement money. He said he met with his lawyers last week to discuss the case.

“I was told the other party wants to mediate, and we should demand $2 million,” Lin told the news outlet. “I said I’m not willing to settle unless there’s some form of acknowledgment of right or wrong here.”

Lin said his lawyers told him “that would never happen,” according to the paper.

A spokesperson for the ACLU of Washington told MedPage Today that the organization did not have a statement on the case.

Lin’s case is set to go to trial in February 2024.

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    Kristina Fiore leads MedPage’s enterprise & investigative reporting team. She’s been a medical journalist for more than a decade and her work has been recognized by Barlett & Steele, AHCJ, SABEW, and others. Send story tips to [email protected]. Follow

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