Paul Woods suing LHSC for $2.5 million, claiming wrongful dismissal

Paul Woods, who was fired on Monday as president and CEO of London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), has filed a $2.5 million lawsuit towards LHSC, claiming he was fired in dangerous religion and that he notified board Chair Amy Walby about his journey to the United States in June of final yr and two occasions afterward.  

The lawsuit is claming $1 million typically damages for “loss of reputation” plus $1.4 million in wage, pension and advantages in his contract by to January 2023. The declare can also be asking LHSC for $100,000, claiming the hospital breached sections of the Ontario Human Rights Code in firing Woods. 

The assertion consists of allegations not but confirmed in courtroom and it is not clear but whether or not LHSC has filed a press release of defence. LHSC has not but responded to a request for remark relating to the go well with. 

Woods’s firing was publicly introduced Monday after LHSC revealed Friday that he travelled to the United States 5 occasions since March regardless of the federal government’s advice towards non-essential cross-boarder journey as a part of measures to curb the unfold of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On Friday, the board of administrators stated in a press release that it continued to help the CEO’s management and that it “is aware Dr. Woods continued to travel for personal reasons given the separation from his immediate family.”

In a press release asserting his firing Monday, LHSC stated “it had no advance notice of and did not approve his travel outside Canada.”

However in his assertion of declare, Woods says he knowledgeable Walby and Susan Nickle, LHSC’s chief counsel and privateness officer, about his journey United States, first in June and once more to the board chair in August and October. 

The declare stated Woods, a Canadian citizen who maintain everlasting residence standing within the U.S., was making the journeys to go to his daughter, fiancee and former partner in Michigan as a result of he has no fast household in London and that restrictions on U.S. journey “imposed significant hardship” on him. 

The declare cites that on June 16 Woods mentioned the scenario with Walby and Nickle and despatched an electronic mail to Walby. The declare says Walby responded with an electronic mail that says:

“I appreciate the heads up on your need to travel to the US and the plan to self-isolate as required thereafter, and comfortable that it fits into existing policy re WFH [Work from Home] for leaders.”

 An Aug. 5 electronic mail from Woods to Walby cited within the declare says Woods once more knowledgeable her of his have to work remotely from Michigan partially as a result of journey restrictions stop his fiancee, a U.S. citizen, from coming to London.

In that electronic mail Woods admits there could also be “some optics issues” and asks “Is this something I should bring to the Board?”

The assertion of declare cites an electronic mail Walby despatched to Woods the subsequent day, Aug. 6, clearing him to journey to the U.S. As for the board’s approval, Woods says Walby instructed him this in an electronic mail: 

“I support what you need to do on this. I don’t think the Board needs to approve but we can give them a heads up.”

That contradicts what LHSC stated in its Monday assertion asserting Woods’s firing. 

That assertion stated: 

“While the Board was aware of Dr. Woods’ personal circumstances, it had no advance notice of and did not approve his travel outside Canada. There is no process for the Board of a public hospital to approve a chief executive officer’s personal travel.”

LHSC has not responded to requests from the CBC for clarification about what the board knew about Woods’s journey plans.

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