By Liz Kowalczyk, Globe Staff
A federal jury today awarded a Brigham and Women's Hospital neurosurgeon $1.6 million in her sex discrimination lawsuit against the hospital and against the chairman of her department, Dr. Arthur Day.
The jury of seven men and two women found that Dr. Sagun Tuli, who specializes in spine surgery, was subjected to a hostile work environment at the hospital where she has worked for more than six years. They jury also found that Day, a nationally-known brain surgeon who took over the department in 2007, slandered Tuli, and that the hospital retaliated against her for complaining about his behavior toward her and other employees.
The jury rejected claims by Tuli that the Brigham's decisions were motivated by ''discriminatory intent'' and that she was paid less than male colleagues because of her gender.
Still, the jury's verdict indicated that they found both Day and the hospital's behavior toward Tuli illegal and inappropriate. Tuli said Day continually made demeaning statements to her while she was operating, telling her during one surgery in May 2007, "You are just a girl. Are you sure you can do that?''
Tuli's mother and several Brigham nurses who came to court to show their support cried and hugged Tuli after the jury read the verdict.
Tuli said in an interview that she was relieved the seven-week trial was over and that she felt grateful that the jury agreed with her claims.
"It's been a very stressful time and I'm just thankful for the decision,'' she said.
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|White Coat Notes covers the latest from the health care industry, hospitals, doctors offices, labs, insurers, and the corridors of government. Chelsea Conaboy previously covered health care for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @cconaboy.|
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