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Nurses Awarded Damages In Age Discrimination Claim

February 27, 1993

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Two operating room nurses who contended they were fired because of their age were awarded $242,000 in damages against a hospital where they had worked for more than 25 years.

The state Supreme Court announced the award Friday after binding arbitration hearings in December and January before retired Supreme Court Judge Robert O. Staniforth.

Mary A. Shughrue, 60, and Colleen Hoppe, 59, said in an age-discrimination lawsuit that the decision to fire them was based on their age and not upon the Sharp Memorial Hospital’s contention that the women had lost their skills.

″Evidence piled upon evidence supports the loyalty of these women to Sharp Hospital and to the job which they performed there,″ Staniforth said. ″In the face of this, they are literally degraded morally, struck down and pushed out.″

An attorney for the hospital did not appear at a hearing to contest the judgment.

Hoppe was fired in December 1989 and Shughrue was forced to resign the next month, said their attorney, Rod Toothacre. Both now work in similar jobs at other hospitals in San Diego County.

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