Laid-Off SF Hospital Whistleblower Wins $750k, Plaque In Honor

A former doctor is honored after he was retaliated against for being a whistleblower.

By Chris Roberts
|  Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013  |  Updated 3:58 PM PDT
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Laguna Honda Hospital's Artul Healing

Joe Rosato Jr.

FILE PHOTO - Old Laguna Honda hospital on Twin Peaks

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A former doctor at San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital -- laid off after he filed whistleblower complaints alleging misuse of a patient gift fund -- will receive $750,000 from the city as a settlement. And much, much more.

Dr. Derek Kerr, who spent 21 years at Laguna Honda and founded the hospice care unit before he was laid off in 2010, will be honored with a plaque to be installed at Laguna Honda in his honor. He'll also be feted by the very officials who orchestrated his removal, according to terms of a lawsuit settlement approved Tuesday.

Kerr identified that a patient gift fund was instead spent on hiring a non-profit with ties to the hospital and on capital projects. He was the only employee laid off in 2010, and alleged that he was laid off because he stepped forward with complaints.

None of the hospital officials alleged to have been involved in his ouster were removed from their posts, the San Francisco Examiner reported.

Whistleblowers in San Francisco often must go to the courts to resolve their cases, according to the newspaper. Additionally, there appears to be a culture at the city in which whistleblowers are punished and team players protected, Kerr told a reporter.

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