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Utah Nurse Alex Wubbels Recieves $500K Settlement
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Utah nurse

Summary: The Utah nurse unlawfully arrested several months ago for refusing to draw blood from an unconscious patient without a warrant reached a settlement for $500,000.

The nurse who was violently arrested from a Utah hospital for refusing to break the law to obtain a blood sample from a patient for a police officer has reached a settlement with the city and university that owns the hospital. Nurse Alex Wubbels can be seen talking with at least two police officers on the police body camera footage inside the hospital about a blood draw that they wanted done but did not have proper authority to obtain. The parties agreed to a $500,000 settlement.

  
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The video shows Wubbels calmly talking with the officers, explaining the hospital’s policy about requiring a warrant or patient consent to draw blood unless the patient is under arrest, which this patient was not. The officers did not have a warrant and the patient was not able to consent at the time after being seriously injured in a car accident. The patient’s car had been hit by another car being driven by someone trying to flee from the police.

Wubbels can be heard saying, “This is something you guys agreed to with this hospital.” She repeatedly tells the officers and talks with her boss on the phone to reinforce the policy. One officer, who has since been fired, can be seen lunging at Wubbels, dragging her outside where he handcuffs her all while she is heard screaming “I did nothing wrong.”

The officer, Detective Jeff Payne, was fired last month and his watch commander, Lt. James Tracey, was demoted to officer. Both have appealed their punishments and a criminal investigation is still ongoing into her unlawful arrest.

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Wubbels said she would be upset if the police department decided to overturn the punishments on the officers. She told the AP, “The police have to police themselves. This is something I never would have expected to happen, but I’m also honored by the weight of it.”

The incident was revealed to the public by Wubbels and her attorney Karra Porter, drawing immediate media attention and outrage towards the police department. She said, “We all deserve to know the truth and the truth comes when you see the actual raw footage and that’s what happened in my case. No matter how truthful I was in my story, it was nothing compared to what people saw and the visceral reaction people experienced when watching the footage of the experience that I went through.”



The University of Utah and Salt Lake City will split the cost of the settlement. The terms of the agreement cover all possible defendants from future lawsuits. This includes the individual police officers and hospital security guards.

Wubbels intends to use her money to help others gain access to police body camera footage involving themselves. Her attorney’s law firm will help others seeking access to these videos for free. She is also going to donate some of the money to the Utah Nurses Association and help in the #EndNurseAbuse campaign.

Salt Lake City spokesman Matthew Rojas said, “First and foremost, Salt Lake City has been focused on changing policies and procedures to make sure that this never happens again, and we are glad that we were able to come to a resolution with Nurse Wubbels.”

Do you think the settlement amount was fair for what happened to the nurse? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about nurses in the news, read these articles:

Photo: photographyisnotacrime.com



 

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