Kenyan doctor won $2.75M discrimination lawsuit but Judge overruled Jury


Kenyan doctor won $2.75M discrimination lawsuit but Judge overruled Jury

Kenyan doctor won $2.75M discrimination lawsuit but Judge overruled Jury
Dr. Baiywo Rop: Photo/Courtesy

A Kenyan Doctor in Florida Dr. Baiywo Rop, Won a $2.75 Million Verdict Against Florida’s Second-Largest Employer in a Discrimination Lawsuit but a Judge Overruled the Jury.

The Kenyan born, Dr. Rop pursued his radiology residency in Florida Hospital, run by the state’s largest employer: Adventist Health System hospital. He graduated medical school in 2012 before being accepted for a radiology residency the next year.

Unfortunately, during his third year in the program, Dr. Rop was diagnosed with severe pernicious anemia, and he says that his employer would not accommodate his condition.

Worse, Rop’s superiors falsely accused him of laziness and drug abuse, through racial stereotypes, the doctor alleged.

“Apparently, they made an assumption that I smoked weed, and I overheard an attending saying, ‘Oh, he needs to stop smoking weed,’” Rop recounted on the episode. “So here am I, I am having a disease that could easily kill me—it’s a cheap disease to diagnose, it’s very cheap to treat—but it kills people.”

In 2017, Rop sued the parent company in the Ninth Judicial Circuit in Orange County, Florida, ultimately winning a sizeable verdict following a weeklong trial last month.

Then, a week later, Judge Kevin Weiss of the Ninth Judicial Circuit in Florida overruled the jury’s decision, finding there were “legitimate, non-discriminatory and non-retaliatory reasons” for Dr. Rop’s dismissal.

The four-page verdict did not state what those reasons were, and the judge did not explain why he believed he found the hospital’s stated rationale persuasive enough to overturn a six-person jury’s findings following a weeklong trial.

Adventist did not have a motion at the time asking Judge Weiss to vacate the judgment.

Currently appealing the decision, Dr. Rop and his lawyer Jerry Girley want to reinstate the verdict that the judge vacated—and, Girley says, make sure King’s bank of justice operates for his client.

In the latest episode of the Law&Crime podcast “Objections: with Adam Klasfeld,” Dr. Rop and his lawyer Jerry Girley describe how that case reminds them of a lesser-remembered part of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech.”

“What we said to the jury is, ‘Dr. Rop is not here seeking a handout, and he traveled a great distance from Kenya to get to this point,” Girley says on the podcast. “He has a dream of becoming a radiologist, he has not abandoned that dream. That dream is on hold, you can help him move forward.”




Kenyan doctor won $2.75M discrimination lawsuit but Judge overruled Jury

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