- Dr. Hasan Gokal was fired in January for handing out 10 COVID-19 vaccine dosages that was because of end.
- The Harris County District Attorney charged Gokal with theft however a grand jury acquitted him in June.
- Gokal is now taking legal action against Harris County for more than $1 million for discrimination.
- See more stories on Insider’s company page.
A Houston doctor who was implicated of taking COVID-19 vaccine dosages and later on acquitted by a grand jury is now taking legal action against Harris County in Texas for discrimination for more than $1 million.
Last December, Dr. Hasan Gokal was dealing with Harris County Public Health at their very first vaccination website. At completion of a shift, Gokal looked for qualified individuals for remaining dosages of the Moderna vaccine that would have ended and went door-to-door to administer shots.
Gokal was implicated of breaching procedures and fired. District Attorney Kim Ogg likewise submitted theft charges versus him.
Harris County Public Health likewise connected to the Texas Medical Board to start an examination for dishonest habits which was dismissed in March. Gokal was not able to work till that examination was total.
In June, a grand jury acquitted Gokal of the charges.
Gokal informed Insider it was not long after the charges were dropped that he started thinking of taking legal action against the county, however it wasn’t till about a month ago that he seriously discussed it with an attorney.
He stated while he was alleviated the case versus him has actually been dropped, the previous 9 months taxed him and his household and hopes the match will bring him justice.
“The first few months of this was rough, not being able to do a job. Not sure if my career is over. What’s going to happen with the criminal charges and so on and so forth. Anybody in that level of stress and degree of uncertainty in life is going to be impacted by that uncertainty,” Gokal stated. “It was felt throughout my family. The kids are young and you can see the stress on them. My wife, certainly her condition got worse through all the stress.”
Gokal included that he’s likewise intending to guarantee this does not take place once again: “You’re talking about a physician who does what a physician does, and you suddenly turn it into a criminal issue. That shouldn’t happen to anybody else. Any way you cut it, it’s just wrong,” he informed Insider.
Additionally, Gokal stated he wishes to accentuate the concern that Harris County Public Health, like other public health companies throughout the nation, is “not using physicians anymore and they’re making decisions on their own without it.” He stated these companies are making choices about public health without required professionals like physicians.
“This has changed in the last year, and it’s a very worrisome and dangerous trend,” Gokal stated.
In a news release emailed to Insider, Gokal and his lawyer stated the general public health department informed him “he picked the wrong people to help – too many of them had ‘Indian’ names, too many of them were Asian.”
“It’s very clear that if he had vaccinated people named Anderson, Smith, and Jones he would have been called a hero and not have been fired, charged, vilified, and brought before a grand jury that thankfully refused to indict him,” Gokal’s lawyer, Joe Ahmad, stated.
The Harris County District Attorney did not react to Insider’s ask for remark at the time of publication however formerly informed CBS News “The District Attorney’s Office prosecutes state crimes that occur in Harris County. In pursuing prosecution against all accused, our intent is to seek and obtain justice in every case. We follow a strict protocol of evidence-based prosecution. The criminal charges of Theft by a Public Servant against this Defendant were based upon evidence obtained from witnesses and statements of the accused, both before and after his employment was terminated by the Harris County Health Dept. While grand jury witnesses are also prohibited in Texas from revealing what occurred in the grand jury, they are free to tell you about what they witnessed in an incident.”
Ahmad informed Insider it’s unclear just how much of a monetary loss the charges and case versus Gokal will cost him, however they presume the effect will extend for several years.
“The full nature of the damages isn’t known yet because frankly, the economic damages are still being suffered. Dr. Gokal is working, he’s taking some shifts in the ER room. It’s not the ideal job, but he’s doing it,” Ahmad informed Insider.
Gokal informed Insider the case triggered him a great deal of tension and he wasn’t able to devote his attention to clients full-time.
Additionally, Ahmad informed Insider the promotion from the case has actually adversely affected Gokal’s track record.
“We believe he’s going to be suffering a year from now, two years from now, if for no other reason than the nature of the publicity against him – how he was vilified, nationwide, worldwide,” Ahmad stated. “And so, do we believe that the damages could exceed $1 million? Absolutely. We’ll know more as time goes by.”
Gokal stated he’s annoyed since he did what he was expected to do.
“I don’t think I was treated fairly, so I’m hoping to get a sense of fairness out of this, that’s number one,” he stated.