A Swedish doctor who was fired after complaining about antisemitism at the world-renowned Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet just received word that the Swedish Labour Court determined on Wednesday that there was no legal justification for his firing.
The Swedish Medical Association brought this action in June 2022 and sued Karolinska University Hospital in Solna for the unlawful dismissal of a Jewish neurosurgeon who previously practiced at the Karolinska.
“Dr. Svensson,” a pseudonym to protect the doctor’s identity, was fired after complaining for years about pervasive antisemitism at the Karolinska. His termination was the culmination of a series of reprisals that included lowering his salary and reassigning him to positions that limited his ability to practice as a neurosurgeon.
In October 2021, The Lawfare Project sent a six-page letter to Karolinska University Hospital, in which it identified “pervasive antisemitism that appears to have become normalized and systematized at the Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institute.” Dr. Svensson was subsequently fired.
The Lawfare Project retained local counsel for Dr. Svensson to sue the hospital, addressing the discrimination and retaliation for Dr. Svensson’s complaints.
After the case was filed in the District Court, the Swedish Medical Association filed a separate action in Labour Court on behalf of Dr. Svensson, more narrowly addressing his wrongful discharge.
“The Karolinska’s admission that it wrongfully fired a Jewish doctor who complained about the antisemitism he was repeatedly subjected to is stunning,” Gerard Filitti, The Lawfare Project’s Senior Counsel, said.
“It is highly unusual for a defendant to admit that it had no valid legal reason to fire an employee. This is the essence of wrongful discharge, and the Karolinska’s admission draws a straight line between the discrimination targeting Dr. Svensson, and the unlawful retaliation he experienced when he reported it.”
The official ruling from the Swedish Labour Court confirms the fact that Dr. Svensson was wrongfully fired from his job.
“The Swedish Medical Association’s case stems from the same circumstances, facts and occurrences that led Dr. Svensson to file his initial lawsuit against the Karolinska,” Filitti added.
“We are confident that when the District Court hears this case, it will reach the same conclusion as the Labor Court, namely that the Karolinska acted improperly. Ignoring antisemitism and taking punitive measures against a Jewish doctor subjected to it is simply unacceptable, and we expect a favorable ruling from the court.”