MILWAUKEE-A Wisconsin trial court jury recently awarded $1.5 million to a doctor who accused a hospital of racial discrimination for canceling his surgical privileges following what officials called an unusual number of problems among his patients. The award to James Bass Jr. includes $500,000 in punitive damages for discrimination. The jury said St. Luke's Medical Center had not intentionally discriminated against Bass but hospital President Mark Ambrosius had. "I agree with that," Bass, 56, said after the verdict. "I'm happy, of course." Patrick Patterson, a former attorney for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said it's one of the largest individual awards in a racial employment discrimination case in Wisconsin. Mary Wolverton, an attorney for the hospital and Ambrosius, said the verdict will be appealed. "The verdict is in error, both in law and in fact," Wolverton said. The hospital said in a statement that it terminated the surgical privileges "to protect patients" because Bass' patients had high rates of complications and death.
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