Share This Page

Fired Allegheny County jail nurse's federal lawsuit dismissed

| Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, 3:22 p.m.

A federal judge on Monday dismissed a former Allegheny County jail nurse's First Amendment claim that supervisors fired her to cover up the May 6 death of an inmate, but left open the option that she could pursue a lawsuit in state court.

Sherry Anderson, 44, of Bellevue claimed that the county, Allegheny Correctional Health Services and two supervisors violated three state laws, including the Whistleblower Act, and violated her civil rights.

U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry ruled that Anderson failed to substantiate her federal claim because all of her conversations about the treatment and death of Derek Black, 28, were with supervisors, and the First Amendment doesn't protect employee conversations with their employers.

Anderson's attorney, Timothy Kolman, said she will pursue her wrongful firing claims in state court.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.