Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Bill Ozier successfully defended Vanderbilt University in a discrimination lawsuit brought by a former professor alleging her employment was terminated because of gender discrimination and retaliation. While employed as a professor in the Department of Pathology in the Medical Center and as a member of the Vanderbilt Medical Group (the Medical Center's professional practice organization), the physician started her own breast pathology consulting practice and began soliciting referrals from pathologists and practitioners from outside Vanderbilt. That action was contrary to the University's conflict of interest policy and the by-laws of Vanderbilt Medical Group. On appeal, the Sixth Circuit upheld the lower court's ruling that the university proved the termination was based solely on legitimate violations of the university's policies and that there was no basis for the plaintiff's claim of gender discrimination and retaliation.
Law360 provided an analysis of the case in the article, "6th Circ. Closes Book On Vanderbilt Prof's Sex Bias Suit," that was published on May 22, 2017, and is available online.
As Bill pointed out in a statement for the article, "There was no evidence that Dr. Simpson's gender was a factor in her termination. She was terminated for violating the by-laws of the Vanderbilt Medical Group by forming a private company to provide the same pathology consults that she was being paid by Vanderbilt to provide."