Ron Mattson, fired senior health ministry employee, settles case
B.C. government says they made 'regrettable mistake'
A man who sued the province for wrongful dismissal and defamation over the alleged misuse of confidential data provided to UBC and UVic, has come to a settlement with the government.
In a statement released Monday, the B.C. Ministry of Health said that its decision to terminate Ron Mattson had been "a regrettable mistake."
At the time of his termination — he was one of seven disciplined over the alleged data breach — Mattson was a senior manager who had been employed at the ministry for 28 years.
Accepting the government's statement of regret, Mattson — who is currently an elected official in View Royal, B.C. — noted he is turning 61 this week.
"My plans for the future are to spend my time and energy taking care of my family, serving my community and enjoying my retirement," he said Monday.
"The last two years have been incredibly stressful on me and my family. It's impacted both our physical and mental health and we're delighted to be able to put this behind us."
He launched his suit against the government in December 2012 in order to clear his name, he said at the time.
"I was never advised of any substantive allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct," he said. "And in spite of the multiple promises made to me by government, I was never granted an opportunity to respond to the findings of their review."
Not the only fired employee to sue
Mattson is not the first former ministry employee to settle out of court.
All seven fired employees protested their innocence, each launching civil suits or noting grievances with their unions.
Government officials say they have settled or resolved in five of the seven firings, but would not comment on the amount of the payouts.
Tragically, UVic co-op student Harold Roderick MacIssac was found to have committed suicide in 2013, after his firing meant he had little chance of completing his doctorate.
In July this year, the ministry announced it had come to an agreement with Dr. Malcolm MacLure, and that the leading health researcher would be rehired as a consultant.
"The ministry is pleased to announce that Dr. Maclure will be working with the ministry on projects which will provide doctors with confidential information about their prescribing and how to optimize use of medications," said a statement issued by the ministry at the time.
With files from Jeremy Allingham