Columbia Valley Regional Medical Center V. Bannert

Columbia Valley Regional Medical Center V. Bannert

This is an action by Julie Bannert against her former employer, Columbia Valley Regional Medical Center (“Columbia”), and two of its managers, Charles Sexton and Rhue LaMont. The action arose after Columbia fired Bannert for dishonesty. Although Bannert alleged numerous causes of action relating to her termination, only defamation was submitted to the jury, which found for Bannert, awarding her over $1.5 million in actual and punitive damages. The supposed defamation occurred in a memorandum dated September 1, 1999, from Rhue LaMont, Columbia’s chief nursing officer (“CNO”), to Charles Sexton, its chief executive officer (“CEO”). This document, or “file,” appeared on the shared drive of the hospital’s computer system and was discovered by a hospital employee under Bannert’s supervision. The authenticity of this memorandum, as originating from appellant LaMont, is sharply contested.

Columbia Valley Regional Medical Center V. Bannert

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