Polio pioneer sues Jefferson hospital over ouster

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Hilary Koprowski, the Polish-born developer of the precursor to Albert Sabin’s oral polio vaccine, has sued Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University Hospital after it shut down his research lab. The hospital claims Koprowski’s lab doesn’t bring in enough grant money to fund its operation.

Koprowski had offered to pay the salaries of five assistants who help the 93-year-old cope with the ravages of age. His lawsuit charges Jefferson with violating the ADA for refusing to allow him to keep the assistants on the payroll at his expense.

The suit seeks to stop the hospital from interfering with his relationship with the five assistants. It was filed two days after Koprowski filed ADA complaints with the EEOC and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

Jefferson officials describe the disagreement simply as “an issue concerning office space” that unfortunately has been “brought to federal court.”

This isn’t the first time Koprowski has filed a lawsuit related to employer support of his research. At age 75, he alleged the Wistar Institute at the University of Pennsylvania had discriminated against him.

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