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U.S District Court Greenlights Discrimination Lawsuit Against Mount Sinai Hospital

NEW YORK (Jan. 20, 2022) – The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has allowed a lawsuit claiming age, race, and sex discrimination against Mount Sinai Health System in New York to move forward. In a 38-page ruling, Judge Vernon S. Broderick denied in part Mount Sinai’s motion to dismiss the case Atkinson et. al. vs. Mount Sinai, leaving four plaintiffs able to advance their claims to the discovery phase. The order granted Mount Sinai’s motion to dismiss four other discrimination cases brought against the institution.

The case, filed more than 2 ½ years ago in April 2019, involves eight current and former employees of the Arnhold Institute for Global Health at Mount Sinai. They sued Mount Sinai Health System; the Icahn School of Medicine’s Dean Dr. Dennis Charney; Dr. Prabhjot Singh, former Director of the Arnhold Institute; and two managers under Singh’s supervision, Bruno Silva, and David Berman, for age, sex, and race discrimination.

“It has been extremely difficult historically for employees to hold their employers accountable for discrimination, and the odds are greatly stacked against gender minorities and BIPOC in healthcare,” said Anu Anandaraja, MD, MPH. “We are glad to see a ruling that recognizes the merits of our case against Mount Sinai. We are confident that this legal process will ultimately result in a more equitable work environment for all.”

“Judge Broderick’s ruling bolsters our confidence that we will win our case,” added Stella Safo, MD, MPH. “In the meantime, we will continue our local and national efforts to address the racism and sexism that is rampant in academic medicine.”

While four plaintiffs’ claims were dismissed for various reasons, most of them can be refiled invoking New York State and City law. The plaintiffs are also exploring grounds for appealing aspects of Judge Broderick’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, which if successful could reinstate them to the federal case. 

“While I am disappointed personally that Judge Broderick has dismissed me from the case due to the statute of limitation on discrimination claims,” said Holly G. Atkinson, MD, “I consider the ruling a huge win for our side. We can now move to prove at trial that Dr. Prabhjot Singh, under the mentorship of Dean Charney, discriminated against us and created an extremely hostile workplace that decimated our careers and inflicted tremendous personal harm.”

All eight plaintiffs remain committed to their fight for justice. They hope that their stories will continue to inspire others to battle the injustices in their own workplaces and help continue to transform Mount Sinai and other medical institutions across the nation.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Dr. Jef McAllister, Managing Partner of McAllister Olivarius, said, “We are looking forward to aggressively taking the next steps to move this important case forward.” 

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To speak with any of the plaintiffs or lawyers involved in the case, please contact:
Paola Iuspa-Abbott, Top of Mind PR: paola@topofmind-pr.com 305.726.5848

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