Health & Science

Former Employee Sues UTMB Galveston, Alleges Retaliation For Defending Animals

A veterinarian has sued the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, claiming he was fired because he spoke up about the suffering of monkeys used in biomedical research.

A veterinarian has sued the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, claiming he was fired because he spoke up about the suffering of monkeys used in biomedical research.

Dr. Brian Gordon was fired last June, after working at UTMB for more than two years.

One of Gordon’s attorneys, Jennifer Ward in Austin, says he was the highest-ranked veterinarian on staff.

His job included oversight of thousands of animals used in research, including primates, sheep, pigs, and rats and mice.

“Ultimately, he was terminated for standing up for animal rights and trying to do his job.”

The lawsuit focuses on a particular experiment in which 12 monkeys were injected with the Marburg virus, which is similar to Ebola.

That experiment has also been the subject of federal investigations because some of the monkeys died from the disease before they could be euthanized.

Ward says Dr. Gordon was kept out of the loop and discouraged from investigating what happened to the monkeys.

After he requested a meeting, he was fired. Ward says Gordon’s reputation has been damaged and he can’t get a comparable job.

He’s suing for lost wages and other damages under the Texas Whistleblower Act.

“He wants obviously to be made whole for this. His career that be spent decades building has essentially been ended at this point.”

Ward says Gordon also filed suit to expose the problems with animal welfare at UTMB.

“Obviously UTMB does very good important work. The problem is when they are misrepresenting how they’re getting to that research, how they’re using federal funds and how they’re treating the animals that are in their care. Ultimately that’s really the problem.”

UTMB officials declined to comment on the lawsuit.

See the lawsuit below.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters and the Houston Press Club. Florian is a native of Germany. His studies...

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