Samson Cournane, 15, and his mother Dr. Anne Yered were intimidated by Eastern Maine Medical Centre when he filed a petition in response to her ‘wrongful termination’After his mother’s employment at Eastern Maine Medical Centre was terminated, Samson Cournane, 15, published a letter expressing his worries about patient safety.
The 15-year-old child and his mother have subsequently been threatened with legal action for their publicised worries, according to Cournane, a college junior, who alleges in a Change.org petition that his mother tried to voice concerns about the safety of patients.
A hospital corporation is under fire for threatening to sue a Maine adolescent and his mother after he revealed that he was worried about patient safety.
After his mother, a former employee of Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Centre, was fired in 2022, Samson Cournane, 15, started a Change.org petition.
Anne Yered, a paediatric critical care physician, and Cournane Yered say she was unlawfully fired for raising concerns about the safety of children.
Unsuitable patient-to-hospital staff ratios and a physician who purportedly completed only one year of a three-year critical care fellowship were two of the issues brought up.
The petition claims that “healthcare workers shouldn’t have to operate in a climate of fear and silence when it comes to raising concerns about patient safety.”
In retaliation, hospital administrators wrote Yered a letter threatening legal action and asserting that they think she published the complaints in an effort to avenge them.
Samson questioned why his mother was the target of their anger rather than him.
In September 2022, Samson filed a Change.org petition with the subject line “Patient Safety in Maine Matters” and Jared Golden as the intended recipient.
The petition claims that Dr. Yered was terminated from her position at Eastern Maine Medical Centre (EMMC) in 2022 after raising concerns about the safety of paediatric patients.
Despite being the second-largest hospital in the state, the 15-year-old college junior said that EMMC has “countless online negative patient experiences.”
He claimed to have found numerous problems during his research for his petition, among them the hospital’s subpar patient safety ratings.
Samson addressed the doctor at the centre of the controversy, Dr. Yered, before citing a number of medical journals and articles in his published letter.
Beginning in 2020, she expressed several worries to the administrators, including the fact that a different paediatrician who specialised in critical care was not licenced to treat patients.
The unidentified doctor apparently completed just one year of a crucial fellowship that would have adequately prepared them to handle patients with urgent conditions.
The youngster expressed his concerns in a letter, writing, “Critically ill children have died due to unqualified paediatric critical care physicians caring for critically ill children in other hospitals in the United States.”
Dr. Yered experienced harassment once she began sharing her concerns with administrators, which included one senior management allegedly “climbing through the woods in her backyard to confront her.”
Samson claimed in his appeal that the same manager also broke into the backyard of another hospital doctor, who experienced a similar occurrence.
The petition received about 1,000 signatures as of August 31.
After the petition was submitted, Northern Light Health allegedly contacted Yered and said that she, not Cournane, had posted the petition.
Samson also expressed his concerns in a letter to the editor of Maine Campus Media, the student publication at the University of Maine.
The hospital conglomerate said Yered ghost wrote the claims in the petition, according to a free speech advocacy group that is standing up for Samson.
They think it was a component of a “scheme” to avenge her previous employer.
Yered filed a letter alleging wrongful termination against EMMC in January.
In response, EMMC filed a’meritless’ counterclaim charging defamation in April.
The hospital’s lawyers stated in their counterclaim that the case involved a doctor who, after being fired, devised a plan to retaliate against her former employer by posting malicious, false, and defamatory statements online about a former colleague harming patients while posing as or ghostwriting for her teenage son.
The hospital made the assertions, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), but provided “zero evidence” to support them.
‘They accused his mom, arguing that she must have ghostwritten everything because he was just 14 at the time,’ FIRE senior attorney Jay Diaz said.
‘But obviously, Samson is a highly capable young person.
He’s 15 and already a junior in college.
The lawyer stated, “He did this work and it was his love project.
It appeared as though they were attempting to damage Cournane’s credibility.
‘I truly believe in what I’m doing, and this only makes me want to continue with my activism,’ the boy said in an interview.
‘Only because I’m 15 doesn’t mean that I don’t know what I’m saying.
Samson asserts that he has every right to express his opinions despite the counterclaimed, which they allege is an obvious attempt to quiet them.
Samson declared, “Young people have the same rights to free speech as anyone else.”
“I have the right to speak up without being intimidated into silence.”
In a recent interview, Cournane told Fox News, “It’s sad to see the hospital try to stop me from talking about important things.”
Particularly when it’s attempting to enhance their own healthcare system and inform them of more information regarding the safety of the staff and patients, he said.
Both parties have not yet formally filed a lawsuit.
In a letter this week, FIRE encouraged the sizable hospital system to “immediately retract and disavow their threat of a lawsuit.”
Samson’s petition and remarks, according to the free speech advocacy group, are protected by the Constitution and state law.
Diaz claimed that the threat was unnecessary and referred to it as a textbook instance of a SLAPP (strategic litigation against public participation) complaint.
Maine is one of 30 states that have anti-SLAPP statutes in place to protect speakers.
In order to silence a speech, a person or organisation will file a SLAPP lawsuit, according to Diaz.
SLAPP proceedings, which are frequently successful in ending lawsuits, can be very expensive for those trying to take on a powerful firm.
Even though our client is named Samson, James Jordan of FIRE asserted that this is a case of David vs. Goliath.
He said, “If a large corporation will threaten to sue a teenager into silence, they will do it to anyone.”
Samson stated that he is committed to enhancing the healthcare system as a whole and that he has no plans to cease raising his issues.
Northern Light Health provided a detailed response to DailyMail.com’s request for a statement, in which they categorically denied any wrongdoing.
The claims made against their institution, according to Senior Vice President of Communications Suzanne Spruce, are “factually unsupported and demonstrably false.”
The top focus of EMMC is patient safety.
She commented that the medical professionals at EMMC are well-trained, caring, and dedicated to giving patients good, secure treatment.
The email went on to say that “EMMC understands that every day patients place their trust in EMMC, and EMMC takes this responsibility very seriously.”
NORTHERN LIGHT HEALTH COMPLETE EMAIL TO DAILYMAIL.COM
It is crucial to comprehend the history of this problem.
Regarding her termination from work, Anne Yered, MD has threatened legal action against Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical.
While EMMC is unable to comment on the pending lawsuit or the circumstances behind Dr. Yered’s termination, we vehemently refute any implication that Dr. Yered was fired because she reported or voiced safety-related concerns.
By happenstance, EMMC learned that Dr. Yered’s underage son, whose last name is different from Dr. Yered’s, had called EMMC staff and was attempting to speak with them about matters relevant to his mother’s threatened claims without disclosing his relationship to his mother.
After that, someone claiming to be the minor son published a number of defamatory and hateful claims about one of our most experienced, highly trained, committed, and competent doctors, who EMMC had a reasonable basis to think was Dr. Yered or acting at Dr. Yered’s direction.
Following that, EMMC gave Dr. Yered notice that it was reserving the right to file a counterclaim against her for making these defamatory remarks, which were detrimental to both EMMC and the doctor about whom they were made.
EMMC has never threatened to file a lawsuit against Dr. Yered’s little kid.
EMMC promotes people’s freedoms to express themselves in any forum about matters of public interest, such as healthcare and patient safety.
There are restrictions on the right, though.
Legal action may be taken to refute manifestly false and unsupported claims that are made with the intention of unfairly undermining the public’s trust and causing actual harm, like those at issue here.
In order to fulfil its commitment to care for the most vulnerable population in the area, EMMC must make sure all statements are true and truthful.
The top focus of EMMC is patient safety.
The medical professionals at EMMC are well-trained, kind, and they offer patients exceptional, secure care.
EMMC recognises that patients entrust it with their care on a daily basis, and it takes this obligation very seriously.
The Joint Commission, an impartial national surveyor that guarantees EMMC and other hospitals are giving patients the highest calibre care, has granted EMMC accreditation.
Additionally, EMMC is routinely evaluated by the State and other Federal organisations to guarantee that all safety criteria are met and enforced.
Additionally, EMMC just received the highest ‘A’ Hospital Safety Score from The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit that rates American hospitals on things like infections and preventable errors.
Patients should receive care in the safest possible setting, and EMMC is constantly striving to uphold this standard.