Judge Denies Kentucky Student’s Damages Claim in Free Speech Case

By | April 5, 2012

A federal judge has ruled that a former University of Louisville nursing student waived her free speech rights by signing an honor code and can’t collect damages after being dismissed from school over a blog post.

U.S. District Judge Charles R. Simpson III dismissed a lawsuit brought by Nina Yoder, who claimed in a 2009 lawsuit the school improperly dropped her from the nursing program because she blogged some details of a woman’s birth.

The blog post didn’t identify the patient, but included details about the woman’s experience in giving birth and multiple editorial comments.

Simpson found that because Yoder signed off on the requirement not to disseminate information about patients, she waived her right to speak about what she saw. Yoder was later reinstated and graduated.

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