Appeals Court Overturns Decision to Reinstate Expelled U of L Nursing Student

by Gabe Bullard on April 11, 2011

The decision to reinstate a University of Louisville nursing student who was expelled over her blog posts has been overturned.

Nina Yoder was expelled from U of L in 2009 after posts she’d written about her coursework were found online. That year, U.S. District Judge Charles Simpson ruled that the school violated a contract with Yoder, who was then reinstated and has since graduated.

A federal appeals court has ruled that Simpson’s decision was improper because the case was a free speech issue, not a contract violation. Simpson will now be asked to rule in the case based on those grounds. Yoder’s attorney Dan Canon* says the overturning is not a defeat. He agrees that the case is not a contract dispute. The categories for damages are different under contract cases than they are under constitutional cases, and Canon says once Judge Simpson rules in the case again, Yoder’s attorneys will likely ask for a jury trial to determine any damages.

*Disclosure: Canon and I are friends.

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{ 2 comments }

Rebecca Smith April 11, 2011 at 8:36 pm

It’s so nice to present one side of the story and for Mr.Canon to want damages. Of course he wants damages, isn’t that how he gets paid?? As for the author who wrote this story, it sure was nice of you to disclose that you and this twisted girl’s lawyer are friends.

Frustrated Professional April 12, 2011 at 10:07 am

There is no question that Ms Yoder is entitled to her personal opinions. And, she is entitled to sharing her opinions on the internet.

My issue is that to excuse her behavior because she was a nursing student, and, therefore, could not be held accountable to the same professional standards of a graduate and licensed professional is begging the question. Using that logic, it would then be “acceptable” to allow her to make medication errors and then excuse her because she was a student.

Students are introduced to ethical standards of behavior and care in their first weeks of their education. The Ky Board of Nursing recognizes the American Nurses Association’s ethical standards as a basis for our professional conduct.

Incivility is a growing concern throughout our society. Although we are all entitled to our opinions, it is unclear why we believe we must express them unfiltered. There are also constitutional laws which protect the Right to Privacy, including HIPAA. Unfortunately, the rights of the patients who were ridiculed are being ignored in this case; maybe if they could afford an attorney they could plead their case in court, as did Ms Yoder.

Ms Yoder probably has a job, but I hope that I recognize her and request that she not care for me or my family. That is within my right to express my opinion, which I will do professionally.

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