A former nurse who is suing Saint Anthony's Hospital and his ex-coworkers for defamation of character has been given 60 days to conduct discovery before a Madison County judge hears the defendants' pleas to dismiss the case.
Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth had been set to hear the dismissal moves filed on Nov. 19 by the hospital and staffers including nurse Kathryn Hartmann.
Instead, Ruth entered an order granting plaintiff John Doe 60 days to conduct additional discovery and time to file his amended complaint.
John Doe is suing Hartmann, the hospital and other staff members claiming that Hartmann started rumors that ultimately led the hospital to wrongfully fire him.
The defendants deny the claims.
According to Doe's complaint, Hartmann started rumors that John Doe, a male nurse, inappropriately touched an unconscious male patient.
Saint Anthony's then fired Doe even though the state regulatory board in charge of nurses exonerated him later, the suit claims.
The plaintiff also claims that his sexual orientation factored in to his firing.
The plaintiff seeks damages in excess of $50,000 and other relief.
In the moves to dismiss the case, the defendants argue that John Doe does not plead sufficient facts to warrant the continuation of his case.
The motions to dismiss have been pushed back at least twice to date.
Bob Perica and others represent Doe.
Jill Luft and others sit at the defense table.
The case is Madison case number 10-L-370.