A jury panel that included 10 women found last week that Booneville Community Hospital breached its contract with Canaan Champion when it fired Champion in November of 2011.
Following the 25-minute deliberation, the jury awarded damages of $92,511 to Champion at the conclusion of the two day trial.
Judge David McCormick oversaw the trial for which Champion had initially sought $165,624.
The jury’s finding came, ironically, on the anniversary date the three-year contract with Champion became effective in 2010.
A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Champion had accused the hospital of breaching its contract with her by demanding that she provide services outside the scope of her contract, which called for her to provide anesthesiologist services, then terminated her for refusing to do so.
Those duties included "floor" nurse services after the hospital shuttered its operating room in November of 2011.
On the stand for just over three hours the first day and over a half hour on the second day, Champion provided the majority of testimony in the two day trial.
Attorneys for Champion also called former hospital administrator Jerry Mitcham. Defense attorneys called hospital employee Mary Reese and current hospital chief executive officer C. David Hill.
Although this suit has been decided, the hospital and Champion family are not finished with one another. Dr. Sean Champion, a surgeon and Canaan Champion’s husband, also has a suit pending against the hospital in which he alleges the hospital breached a contract, interfered with business expectancy, violated the Arkansas Whistleblowers Act and wrongfully terminated the doctor.
The amount Sean Champion claims he is owed through the contract is $174,856.
Rose Law Firm attorneys represent both Canaan and Sean Champion.