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$13 Million Verdict for Female Oncologist Against UCLA

Lauren Pinter-Brown was the director of UCLA’s lymphoma program for ten years. For the majority of her time in that position, she was the only woman in her department. Another specialist in her department, Dr. De Vos, made her feel unsafe because he repeatedly berated her. After one particularly threatening argument, Dr. Pinter-Brown complained to someone she understood to be a Title IX officer. This male individual responded to her concern by calling her a “diva” and asserted that she had a reputation as an “angry woman.” He stuck her complaint in a drawer.

Following her complaint, Dr. Pinter-Brown stated that her supervisors seemed to turn on her. She was subjected to repeated audits of her work, instructed on how to use the services of her nurse practitioner and told that “everyone hates you.” One supervisor threw a stack of papers at her while yelling “we don’t want someone like you directing the UCLA lymphoma program.” Dr. Pinter-Brown’s privileges were temporarily revoked just one month after her complaint, allegedly for a peer-review committee’s “concerns” about her work. She tried “playing dead” to avoid further work conflicts. However, the atmosphere was unbearable for her and she resigned.

A Los Angeles jury awarded her $3 million in past and future lost earnings in addition to $10 million in past and future emotional distress damages. UCLA has commented only that it was disappointed in the verdict and would be reviewing all of its options. The university also reiterated its policy against discrimination.