Utah Nurse Alex Wubbels Agrees To Half Million Dollar Settlement. She Is Paying It Forward.
University Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels has agreed to a $500,000 payment to settle a dispute over her arrest by a Salt Lake City police officer after she refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient who was a victim in a traffic accident.
Alex’s attorney, Karra Porter, said at a news conference that the agreement with Salt Lake City and the University of Utah covers all parties and takes the possibility of legal action off the table.
The video of Alex being arrested, and Jeff Payne, the arresting officer’s disrespect that Alex was complying with hospital policy, was reported on this blog.
Alex plans to use a portion of the money to help others get body camera footage at no cost. Her attorney’s law firm, Christensen & Jensen, will provide free legal services necessary to obtain the video.
“We all deserve to know the truth and the truth comes when you see the actual raw footage and that’s what happened in my case,” Wubbels said. “No matter how truthful I was in telling my story, it was nothing compared to what people saw and the visceral reaction people experienced when watching the footage of the experience that I went through.”
Porter noted that body camera footage also protects law enforcement officers.
Alex will make a donation to the Utah Nurses Association and will help spearhead the #EndNurseAbuse campaign by the American Nurses Association.
Along with Officer Payne, Lt. James Tracy was involved in Alex’s arrest. On Sept. 13, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski announced an internal affairs investigation found Payne and Tracy violated several department policies during their interaction with Wubbels. A review by the city’s independent Police Civilian Review Board also found the officers violated department policies.
Payne was terminated on October 10th, and Tracy was demoted to a rank officer. They have appealed their discipline to the Salt Lake Civil Service Commission. Alex stated that she hopes the disciplinary measures are upheld.
There is also a criminal investigation into the arrest. That investigation involves the Unified Police Department, the FBI, and the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office.
William Gray, 43-years old, was the subject patient. He worked as a full-time truck driver and a part-time reserve officer with the Rigby, Idaho police department. The crash occurred on July 26, 2017 when police pursued another car that ran into the truck that Gray was driving, bursting it into flames. The driver of the car was killed in the accident. Gray suffered burns on 46 percent of his body. His fight for life ended on September 25, 2017. Our condolences to his family and friends.