Former professor, physician sues Marshall for discrimination

HUNTINGTON – A former medical school professor and physician is suing Marshall University and University Physicians & Surgeons after she claims her employment was terminated based on her age, sex and/or national origin. Prior to July 1, 2010, Dr. Shailini Singh was a professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology with a sub-specialty of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Marshall's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, according to a complaint filed July 6 in Cabell Circuit Court. Singh claims during her tenure she was the only board certified physician in her sub-specialty at the medical school and because of her knowledge, she established an accredited Perinatal Center at Cabell Huntington Hospital. Despite being denied board certification for having been unable to demonstrate competence in the sub-specialty, Dr. David G. Chaffin was allowed to practice in the Maternal Fetal Medicine sub-specialty during Singh's tenure, according to the suit. Singh claims that despite his lack of qualifications, Chaffin was also appointed by Dr. Robert Nerhood to be the director of the Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine. On June 26, 2010, while Singh was providing care and treatment to patients at the Perinatal Center at Cabell Huntington Hospital when, without any prior notification, she was notified by Nerhood that her employment by University Physician & Surgeons was terminated and that she was to abandon her patients who were being treated and who were waiting for treatment and to leave the premises immediately, according to the suit. Singh claims she was, however, given a 30-day temporary appointment until July 30, 2010 for the purpose of completing chards and other administrative duties. The defendants terminated Singh's employment based on her age, sex and/or national origin, according to the suit, which violates the West Virginia Human Rights Act. Singh claims the defendants terminated her employment despite the fact that she had not done anything wrong and caused her to lose valuable research she had been working on for many years and her professional reputation. After termination, Singh filed a Level I Grievance, but the defendants failed and refused to offer any explanation for their actions, according to the suit. Singh is seeking compensatory damages in an amount no less than $1 million and punitive damages. She is being represented by William D. Levine. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David M. Pancake. Cabell Circuit Court case number: 12-C-433

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