Utah Nurse Wubbels Reaches $500,000 Settlement - page 2

The Utah nurse who was arrested two months ago for refusing to let a police detective take blood from an unconscious patient confirmed on Tuesday that a $500,000 settlement with Salt Lake City and... Read More

  1. by   kimandthekinks
    Wait, settlements are taxable? I never heard that before. That's crazy...
  2. by   rzyzzy
    I saw several interviews with her & the message I heard was that she didn't *want* to sue & wanted to give the departments an opportunity to make it right without a lawsuit- in good faith.

    The departments did everything they could to duck and weave and avoid responsibility until the footage was released, and even then the police union released a snarky, insulting statement that stated the public was basically too ignorant to judge, the tapes didn't show everything.. standard copsplaining.

    The truth is, this was a serious violation of her constitutional rights & the officers involved really earned criminal charges, not just loss of a job.

    To some that may sound extreme, but it's *exactly* what nurse wubbles faced herself through their direct actions. This was a public kidnapping, a false arrest under color of law & a physical assault- all caught on multiple cameras & with multiple professional, clear eyed witnesses, including other cops. And it wasn't prosecuted.

    without the body cameras & the public outrage, she could have very easily been unemployed & unemployable as a nurse, with a felony criminal record. I.E. "resisting arrest " or "assaulting an officer" - charges that often get tacked on to force a plea from the innocent..

    basically, the department payed out $500k to *avoid* actually cleaning up their act. If she can't have actual justice, at least she can afford to move now.
    Last edit by rzyzzy on Nov 4
  3. by   Emergent
    Will someone please falsely arrest me on camera? Twist my arm a bit (not too much, mind you). I would be set for retirement, and have left over to help family!
  4. by   kimandthekinks
    I'm actually considering now to get a nursing lincense in Utah though... hmm I just wanna se something real quick...
  5. by   aquakenn
    After I was attacked by a patient who schizophrenia, who decompensated because my agency had no openings to see the psychiatrist and he stopped his meds. I met with him weekly to check on him and to see if there was an opening where he could see the psychiatrist. Because I loved the company so much, I never sought a lawsuit. Looking back I wish I had. That event changed my life completely. If I had sued, their insurance would pay, and nothing else would be affected. I wish I could go back and change things. I'm glad that she pursued it. She was treated horribly and the police department needed to be disciplined.
  6. by   Silver144
    The article said that she reached a settlement with the city AND the university that owns the hospital. I never heard anything about the hospital being at fault. In fact, the supervisor was on speakerphone telling the police very firmly that they did NOT have the right to try to force her to draw the blood.
  7. by   rzyzzy
    There were university-employed cops present who tried to verbally stop the arrest, who backed-down after officer Payne threatened them. Officer Payne complimented them in one of the videos posted online for backing down. One of the changes announced by the hospital after this was "re education" of hospital (university) police, informing them that they had a duty to protect patients and staff, even from rogue outside officers. The hospital staff was concerned enough about the safety of the nurse, that they requested the university cops ride with the nurse (so she didn't get beaten or further abused by this officer) - the officer assigned rode in the *back* of the car, which left the nurse in a dangerous position.

    The university police were not going to do anything at all, until they were publicly exposed. Their initial response was basically "tough noogies". So a financial penalty is quite appropriate.

    The hospital didn't make much of a fuss until they were publicly exposed by the video that nurse wubbels released.. if she hadn't been able to obtain and release the video, this would have absolutely remained buried.. everything happened a month after the false arrest & assault on the nurse, not because of a genuine desire to protect staff, but because the video of what actually happened made the today show & went viral.

    If you carefully watch the longer video, you'll see officer Payne & his supervisor having a discussion & officer Payne saying something to the effect of "camera on or off?" , which is particularly troubling.. if you're doing the right thing, there's no reason ever to turn a camera off. The truth will set you free!

    I personally dont don't think this situation is really "resolved" - the police union released a statement very clearly stating that the public is just too stupid to understand & even video proof of everyone's statements isn't good enough to pass judgement.. the public should presumably just rely on whatever an officer *says* happened, because, thin blue line..

    This information has all been posted & written about publicly, just you had to follow a series of articles to see all of it.
    Last edit by rzyzzy on Nov 4
  8. by   GitanoRN
    In regards to nurse Wubbles I'm extremely satisfied with the outcome. With that being said, I sincerely hope that this will send a message to all police departments in all states, that we as medical staff do follow our facility rules and regulations and no one has the right to arrest any given medical staff for not following a non-staff member of the facility in questioned for following hospital rules. Lastly, I wish nurse Wubbles the best in all of her future endeavors, Aloha~
  9. by   kjb_lpn
    I am pleased for her. Remember me, will ya Nurse Wubbles?
  10. by   Medic/Nurse
    Not all settlements are taxable. It depends on the way they are structured and often precisely what the "cause of action" that leads to settlement is actually for - I'd be surprised if this one is, in fact, taxable. Generally only lost income settlements and true jury level punitive awards (cause settlement negates true punitive action, in a strict legal sense) are taxed.

    Most settlements are unlikely to be taxed. So, that matters.

    As for Nurse Wubbels using this for charity. It was in an interview that she would set establish a fund to promote making body-camera footage from police fully available to the public.

    I think it's unlikely that she was paying counsel hourly (now, unless she's wealthy or from considerable means or a family/friend is the attorney) - it likely took some considerable legal work just to get that tape. Add the hours involved in navigatating the tape's release. Then protecting her while at the at the center of a media tempest. Expensive on an hourly basis to hire an attorney. Figure $350 an hour x lots VS contingency fee in the event of recovery.

    Regardless, I'd have had to push for 12 righteous folks in the box. Cases like this were made for a jury. They got off cheap.

    But, there is power in just moving on, I guess.

  11. by   Wuzzie
    I'm not sure "settlement" is the right word. More like "hush money".
  12. by   Accolay
    Quote from Medic/Nurse
    Not all settlements are taxable. It depends on the way they are structured and often precisely what the "cause of action" that leads to settlement is actually for - I'd be surprised if this one is, in fact, taxable. Generally only lost income settlements and true jury level punitive awards (cause settlement negates true punitive action, in a strict legal sense) are taxed.
    Bolding mine. I'm neither a tax expert nor play one on tv, but are you sure about that?

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertw.../#2a61fdeb2f88
    When are Legal Settlements Taxable? - Henry+Horne

    I think she was treated badly, wrongly, glad the officer was fired, glad she received a settlement, but do you really think this should have been more than $500k also considering that this money eventually comes from tax payers? Here's how much families settled for their loved ones being killed in notorious police shootings and etc. around the country:
    How does $3 million compare to other police shooting settlements? – Twin Cities
  13. by   ohna
    I wouldn't accept it. Been there, done that from non medical field profession. I sued for a change. It was eating my life out but worth the fight. There are people out there who aggressively pressure you to break policies and rules or laws, twist your arms for them when they have other options. They don't want to wait. Their attitude, "I don't care about you but me. Do things I told you to do."
    Last edit by ohna on Nov 11

close