Maine court sides with nurse in whistleblower law suit

Posted March 03, 2011, at 2:11 p.m.
Last modified March 03, 2011, at 6:05 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine – The state supreme court has set aside a decision that upheld the firing of an operating room nurse whose complaints about another nurse’s staph infection led to a long-running dispute.

In its unanimous decision, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday took exception to a lower court’s conclusion that Mary Stewart-Dore’s complaints about her fellow nurse failed to rise to a level that warranted protection under the state’s whistleblower law.

The court said there’s evidence to suggest Stewart-Dore’s statements were protected because she believed her co-worker’s conduct put patients at risk. Southern Maine Medical Center fired her in 2008.

The case now goes back to the lower court.