Hospital director within his authority to fire pathologist

Bocci v. Region 6 Hospital Corp., 2004 CarswellNB 248 (N.B. C.A.)

Lewis Bocci was the Regional Director of Pathology and Clinical Laboratory Medicine with a hospital in Bathurst, N.B.

On March 6, 2003, he was suspended with pay for breach of the hospital’s confidentiality rule. On April 3 his application for sick leave was denied. The next day he was advised he was being suspended without pay. On July 3 Bocci was formally dismissed.

He brought an action against the hospital and its director. He charged wrongful dismissal and breach of contract and alleged the hospital director caused him humiliation and embarrassment by having him escorted out of the hospital by security guards.

The director applied for a summary dismissal of the claim on the grounds it was totally without merit. The application was allowed, and it was subsequently appealed.

In again rejecting Bocci’s claim the New Brunswick Court of Appeal agreed with the original motions judge that at all times the director had acted within his capacity as chief executive officer of the hospital.

As such, the court had ruled, there was nothing that rendered his conduct wrongful and therefore actionable.

The Court of Appeal agreed with the motions judge, stating no evidence had been offered in support of Bocci’s claim. Bocci’s own affidavit was “devoid of evidence in support of any action in tort that would take the claim outside the ambit of [the director’s] authority,” it ruled.

The evidence Bocci had provided in support of his appeal does not assist his claim against the director personally, the court noted.

Bocci’s appeal was rejected, and he was charged court costs of $750.

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