Utah Nurse Wubbels Reaches $500,000 Settlement

  1. 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 the university that runs her hospital has been reached.

    Alex Wubbels has always stressed that her main concern was "protecting hospital staff and preventing the same conflict from happening again."

    Wubbels plans to use a portion of the money to assist people to get body camera footage of incidents of themselves.

    "We all deserve to know the truth and the truth comes when you see the actual raw footage and that's what happened in my case," Wubbels said. "No matter how truthful I was in telling my story, it was nothing compared to what people saw and the visceral reaction people experienced when watching the footage of the experience that I went through."
    Wubbels also plans to make a donation to the Utah Nurses Association and will help spearhead the #EndNurseAbuse campaign by the American Nurses Association.

    For more on this story see:
    Utah nurse who refused to draw blood from unconscious patient settles over rough arrest

    Utah Nurse Alex Wubbels Arrested by Police Talks with allnurses.com at ENA 2017 Conference.
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Nov 3
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   Ambersmom
    Interesting, because I saw her interviewed on GMA and at that time she said she had no plans to sue, just wanted to work with PD to ensure it didn't happen again.
  4. by   Apple-Core
    Quote from Ambersmom
    Interesting, because I saw her interviewed on GMA and at that time she said she had no plans to sue, just wanted to work with PD to ensure it didn't happen again.
    I think the payment was made so that she would agree *not* to sue. I have to say , if I was offered half a mil to *not* sure, I'd take it! Good for her!
  5. by   traumaRUs
    Did you read what she was doing with the money? She is setting up legal care for those affected by these incidents
  6. by   JKL33
    Quote from Ambersmom
    Interesting, because I saw her interviewed on GMA and at that time she said she had no plans to sue, just wanted to work with PD to ensure it didn't happen again.
    I haven't rewatched it recently, but I seem to remember them saying that ideally the police departments would take ownership of and responsibility for it and for accountability. But the way all of this unfolded (including the immediate aftermath which was nothing more than what's-his-name being removed from the phlebotomy position - and his superior getting in no trouble at all) it was kind of clear that the departments weren't handling it. She never implied that she wouldn't pursue legal action if they refused to handle it...and they failed to handle it just about every step of the way.

    I think it was the same interview where she essentially said that's why they released the video.
  7. by   Kooky Korky
    It's not nearly enough money.

    It's good that Payne was fired, but his Lieutenant should also have been fired, not just demoted.
  8. by   Medic/Nurse
    The currency of civil litigation is money.

    Bear in mind, she had secured counsel and I'd bet that settlement is shared on a 25-30% basis with this counsel (as her attorney likely negotiated it).

    The City (cops) didn't just look at the issue and do the right thing. Fire their officers & cut the nurse a check.

    Nope. She had to blow it up on them and release the tape to the media. Without doing that this case would have been hushed and worth near nil in settlement.

    This is a drop in the bucket of what a Federal (US DISTRICT) court may have awarded her.

    Not sure if she settled all claims, but if it's just state claims - ok, I guess. If all claims for that number, nah - I'd have put two juries in the box. One for state claims (force, injury, battery, humiliation, emotional distress, etc) & one Federal for Title 42 §1983 claims (those pesky protective amendments — 4th, 11th, 14th that MATTER).
    Last edit by Medic/Nurse on Nov 2
  9. by   jodispamodi
    The interview I saw she specifically stated she would NOT be suing, I remember thinking at the time, If it was me I would not be that forgiving. But, with time I'm sure clearer heads prevailed and and likely explained that the best way to encourage change was to hit them in the 'ol pocketbook. Years ago I worked in enforcement, and I could tell people not to do something until I was blue in the face, but when I started issuing citations and had the threat of court the majority of those people changed their ways. I'm not saying I don't think Wubbels is entitled to a settlement, if I had been in that situation like I said I wouldnt be so forgiving.
  10. by   NotAllWhoWandeRN
    For those saying she said she wouldn't sue... She said she was keeping her options open based on how the people responsible for those events managed the aftermath.

    And she didn't sue, she settled for a VERY low amount considering the circumstances. My impression is that they threw a little money at her so they could get paperwork preventing her from suing if she decided she wanted big bucks after all down the road.

    I support everything about the way Nurse Wubbels has handled this situation. She gave them time to handle it internally, and they didn't. So she released the footage and humiliated those jerks on a national level. I wish both cops had lost their job, but you can't win them all.

    My hope is that she made it burn badly enough to effect lasting systemic change - because not only were those cops aggressive and inappropriate, the department protected them before the public knew what happened - and I believe she has.
  11. by   Apple-Core
    I agree with the above post by NotAllWhoWandeRN 100%. She didn't actually sue, anyway - she was paid the $500K as a settlement for NOT suing. By the time Uncle Sam has taken his chunk and she's given some to charity as she proposes etc - she won't be left with very much at all.
  12. by   Accolay
    I don't know...was $500,000 "just a drop in the bucket" of what she could have gained monetarily from this? Understanding that the only way to to change things in America is to "make them pay" so to speak, would it have been unethical to get more than $500k despite all taxes and fees?

    It does seem like a lot however...Utah has a 5% income tax ($25,000) Hopefully her lawyer was hourly and not on a contingent fee basis because then at least 30% ($150,000) goes to them. Depending on her tax bracket, I wonder how much is left? $100-200k is still not too shabby depending on how much she gives to charity.
  13. by   rnpatrick
    Wubbells starts off by saying "We all deserve to know the truth." With that in mind she is aligning with strange bed fellows.
  14. by   morte
    with her altruistic bent she probably did not want to screw them too badly. BUT, that leaves her with very little to hand out to charities.

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