Be Not Afraid
The Pandemic of Special Education

$760,000 Damages Award in Dr. Judith Zimmerman v. University of Utah Case

Dr.-Judith-Pinborough-Zimmerman-300x174Note: Below is an announcement about Dr. Judith Zimmerman's legal battle.  Mark Blaxill, AofA Editor at Largte wrote CDC’s Utah Whistleblower and Autism Author Speak Out on the Autism Epidemic  last June.  Join us in wishing Dr. Zimmerman congratulations on what has been an arduous journey.

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A Utah jury has awarded a former University of Utah autism researcher $760,000 in damages due to the University’s retaliation against her for reporting research misconduct.

From 2005 to 2013, Dr. Judith Zimmerman was faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Utah, and in 2012, she was the Director of the Utah Registry for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (URADD) and the Principal Investigator (PI) of a $600,000/year CDC grant charged with collecting data on children with autism for the URADD database. In the summer of 2012, Dr. Zimmerman began going to various oversight offices at the University, including the Research Integrity Office and the Office of General Counsel, about her concerns that a statistician she had hired and later fired from working on the CDC grant, Dr. Amanda Bakian, had made a copy of the URADD data, which contained identifiable health and educational records of kids with autism, and shared it with Dr. William McMahon and Dr. Deborah Bilder, two researchers in the Department of Psychiatry who did not have authorization to access or use the data. After learning of her complaints, in December 2012, Dr. McMahon notified Dr. Zimmerman that her yearly contract, which expired June 30, 2013, would not be renewed. A few days later, Dr. McMahon removed Dr. Zimmerman as Director of URADD and made Dr. Bilder the Director. In January 2013, Dr. McMahon informed Dr. Zimmerman she could no longer access or collect data for the CDC grant, and in February 2013, he removed her as PI on the grant and made Dr. Bilder the interim PI. Dr. McMahon thereafter made himself the PI on the grant. On February 26, 2013, Dr. McMahon sent a memorandum to her staff informing them that Dr. Zimmerman was no longer allowed to access or collect data for the grant or enter the building, that the locks to the building were being re-keyed, and that the staff must “report attempts by Dr. Zimmerman to obtain data or enter the building.”

Dr. Zimmerman initially sued the University in federal court, asserting a claim under the Utah Whistleblower Act as well as breach of contract, based on the University’s violation of the anti-retaliation provision of its Research Misconduct Policy, which promised to protect the jobs and reputations of employees who complained of research misconduct. The federal court dismissed the breach of contract claim due to jurisdictional issues, and Dr. Zimmerman re-filed it in state court. The Whistleblower claim, however, went to trial in federal court in August 2018. At that trial, Drs. Bakian and Bilder pointed to a data sharing agreement ostensibly entered into between themselves and an employee of the Utah Department of Health (UDOH), Barry Nangle, as having provided them the authority to access and use URADD data — the conduct Dr. Zimmerman had been complaining about when she was fired. The federal jury found that the University had violated the Utah Whistleblower Act in terminating Dr. Zimmerman, but her damages in that case were limited to those she suffered after the effective date of her termination, June 30, 2013.  Download Verdict Oct 22 2021

Comments

Angus Files

Agreed Anonymous,
Why do budgets for Special Needs go up each year, on year if there is nothing to see..another £2.6 billion thrown into the UK Autism vanishing pot.

"Other leaks include an announcement that the National Living Wage will increase from £8.91 an hour to £9.50, an additional £6billion to help the NHS clear the backlog caused by the pandemic, and a further £2.6billion to help children with special educational needs."

https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1511414/nicola-sturgeon-news-snp-rishi-sunak-indyref2-budget-2021

Pharma For Prison

MMR RIP

anonymous

liberals say “eat the rich” but glamorize Bernie Sanders, animal torturing maniac Fauci, China, and worst of all - vaccines.

“safer, smaller, delayed” poison is still poison. End all vaccines. We are silently drowning in violent, self injurious, property-destroying, learning impaired, unemployable YOUNG people from illnesses of recent origin.

We are silently, painfully drowning in aluminum, vaccines, squalene, mercury, etc.

Where were all the 911 calls for furniture-destroying, dangerous, learning impaired, out of control, screaming violent autistic teenagers prior to 1990?

Angus Files

Well done Dr Zimmerman.And I don't suppose not one person was sacked or even moved to a lower or different department...that's how unapologetic they are about these matters.

Pharma For Prison

MMR RIP

Shell

A breach in research data sharing? How many other University BREACHES in the science departments are there? Count, I'll wait

Emmaphiladelphia

"At that trial, Drs. Bakian and Bilder pointed to a data sharing agreement ostensibly entered into between themselves and an employee of the Utah Department of Health (UDOH), Barry Nangle, as having provided them the authority to access and use URADD data"

I'm a little confused. Was Dr. Zimmerman mistaken in concluding that Drs. Bakian and Bilder did not have authority to access the identified data? The state departments of health are under the authority of the Governor. Did the Utah Governor authorize the data acquisition? Did Dr. Zimmerman know about their claim to authorization before the trial and disagreed with it?

Regardless, she is to be commended for looking out for the personal privacy of the citizens in the data base. A rarity in government officials. Happy for her financial restitution. I would want to know what kind of research Bakian and Bilder were doing that required identifiable data.

Paul

Dr. Zimmerman,

You are a true hero for fighting the good fight and standing up for what is right in an arduous battle against the unlimited resources of the government.

Thank you!

Rebecca C

Judith Zimmerman is a woman of integrity. Much of the rest of the U of U are not.

Bob Moffit

Once again .. the eighteenth-century Irish philosopher and statesman Edmund Burke had it right:: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,”

Thank you Dr Zimmerman for speaking TRUTH TO POWER,

Larry

Speaks volumes about what kind of state Utah is. Even my friends up in Wyoming have some choice words for their southwest neighbor. :-)

annie

Who, What, Why, Where, How many?!!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!! Dr Zimmerman!

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