Washington, DC - Attorney General Robert J. Spagnoletti announced today that after five years of litigation, the District has reached an $800,000 settlement in the case of Dr. Susan Lerner v. District of Columbia et al.
Dr. Lerner filed suit against the District and employees of the former Commission on Mental Health Services, alleging the city and its employees retaliated against her after she interviewed with New Yorker Magazine. In the interview, Dr. Lerner disclosed her opinion that a former patient, John Hinckley, should have received additional privileges at St Elizabeth's Hospital.
"I am happy the matter has come to a conclusion," said Mr. Spagnoletti. "The case has been settled with no admission of liability or wrongdoing on the part of the District of Columbia or the individual employees involved," he said.
In addition to a non admission of liability, Dr. Lerner agreed to withdraw her pending worker's compensation case in which she sought over $500,000 in back wages and a tax free annuity for her lifetime. Dr. Lerner also agreed to dismiss her complaint filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia where she sought millions in damages, including approximately $2 million for salary and benefits, as a result of her claim that the District of Columbia's personnel actions aggravated her Multiple Sclerosis, which caused her to become immobile. Dr. Lerner also agreed to compromise her claim for over $1 million in attorneys' fees.