DeTar wins wrongful firing lawsuit

July 19, 2012 at 2:19 a.m.
Updated July 20, 2012 at 2:20 a.m.

A federal court judge threw out a Victoria woman's lawsuit claiming wrongful termination against DeTar Hospital.

"We fully agree with the court's dismissal of the entire lawsuit," Michael W. Smith, the lawyer representing DeTar Hospital, said this week.

Connie Smith, the plaintiff, claimed she was fired wrongfully April 19, 2010, for job abandonment after she suddenly left work to care for her ill mother. She filed suit in September.

The opinion and order, however, determined Smith voluntarily resigned after leaving work and packing her personal belongings in a box.

The opinion stated Smith left work April 19 "even though she did not receive the call concerning her mother until she had already left work."

Smith did not go into work the following morning, April 20, and she did not email or call her supervisors to say she would not be in.

Smith's attorney, Mark Joseph Oberti, of Houston, could not be reached for a comment.

Smith's allegations of sexual harassment were also dismissed by the court.

Smith charged her supervisor with showing her pornography on his work computer, kissing her during a happy hour and calling himself "daddy."

According to the opinion, Smith admitted she did not tell her supervisor to stop when he kissed her, that she had kissed another male supervisor at the happy hour and that she, too, had pornography on her work computer.

The court found that her supervisor's "alleged conduct" did not create a "working environment that was sexually abusive overall."

The case was dismissed with prejudice, meaning Smith cannot file the suit again.



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