Nova Scotia Health authority to appeal verdict in Dr. Gabrielle Horne case
Cardiac researcher awarded $1.4 million in damages back in June after a 14-year battle
The Nova Scotia Health Authority has launched an appeal against the verdict in the case of Dr. Gabrielle Horne.
In court documents filed this week, the health authority requests a new trial and wants costs awarded to it for both the appeal and trial. Alternatively, it wants damages for loss of reputation struck out and an "appropriate reward" substituted.
Horne was a prominent cardiac researcher with a high-profile research grant in 2002.
She claimed colleagues demanded she add their names to her research papers, and when she refused, her privileges were varied so she could no longer continue her research.
In June, after a 14-year battle, a jury found the health authority had acted "with malice or bad faith," and awarded Horne $1.4 million in damages. The decision was hailed as one of the largest awards for loss of reputation or loss of career in Canadian legal history.
Now, Horne says the Nova Scotia Health Authority has hired another senior lawyer and filed an appeal. She calls that disappointing.
"I think that hospitals have a duty to listen to a jury that goes far beyond a private company," she said. "A jury verdict has a lot of moral power. The jury are people who pay the salary of the executives who made this decision to appeal."
The health authority is appealing the verdict and the amount of the award on a number of legal grounds, including:
- The judge failed to properly instruct the jury on legal principles regarding bad faith and malice.
- Certain claims for damages by Dr. Horne are unsupportable by law.
- Horne should not have been able to pursue a monetary claim for damages for loss of reputation.
- The judge failed to properly instruct the jury on how to value damages for loss of reputation.