Judge dismisses $25M defamation lawsuit filed by doctor who sued Houston Methodist

Doctor suspended over COVID vaccine views plans to sue Houston Methodist

HOUSTON – A judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by a doctor who had done work with Houston Methodist.

Dr. Mary Bowden, an ear, nose and throat specialist, filed the $25 million dollar lawsuit in July 2022 after she says the hospital ‘defamed’ her.

In the 19-page lawsuit, Bowden said Houston Methodist Hospital damaged her reputation and published defamatory statements to the press and on social media.

In November, Dr. Bowden resigned from the hospital after her privileges were suspended because of her views on vaccines and early treatment for COVID-19.

The ENT doctor, who runs her own private practice, BreatheMD, told KPRC 2 that she has treated over 4,000 patients with COVID-19. Bowden began sharing her opinions on Twitter, including her view that vaccine mandates are wrong, and says Methodist retaliated against her in an unprecedented manner.

The lawsuit referred to a series of tweets from Houston Methodist that say Dr. Bowden’s “opinions [about the COVID-19 vaccine and treatments], which are harmful to the community, do not reflect reliable medical evidence.”

Bowden said her opinions were not and are not harmful to patients or others in the community and the situation has turned her life upside down.

Houston Methodist released following statement:

Dr. Mary Bowden had her day in court—and today Judge Mike Engelhart dismissed her defamation case against Houston Methodist and ordered her to pay attorney fees.

During the heart of the pandemic, Dr. Bowden had her privileges suspended by Houston Methodist for spreading false information that was dangerous to the public and other inappropriate behavior. In her lawsuit, Bowden claimed that she was defamed by Houston Methodist for correcting her admittedly false statement that the hospital turned away unvaccinated patients.

Dr. Marc Boom, president and CEO of Houston Methodist said:

“We can now put this behind us and continue our focus on our patients, employees and community. As health care workers, we have a sacred oath to ‘do no harm,’ and part of that oath means doing everything possible to prevent the spread of misinformation that is harmful to our community.”

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