A Florida emergency physician will regain custody of her 4-year-old daughter Wednesday after a controversial decision by a judge to temporarily take away custody due to heightened concerns over coronavirus.
Dr. Theresa Greene will continue to split custody time with her ex-husband, Eric Greene, after an appeals court ruled in favor of a motion to stay while the court continues to decide on the judge's initial order, Steven Nullman, Theresa Greene's attorney, told USA TODAY.
Judge Bernard Shapiro's ruling stated that Eric Greene would have full custody of their daughter during the coronavirus pandemic. "The suspension is solely related to the outbreak of COVID-19," read the order.
The decision received much criticism from medical professionals, who claimed that Shapiro's ruling was "unconscionable."
“Emergency physicians, along with emergency nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses and others, are leading the battle against the public health crisis of our lifetime," said William Jaquis, MD, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, in a statement following the decision.
"But they are also human beings, who need and deserve the comfort of their families when they are off duty.”
The appeal, however, has yet to be decided upon.
"While we are beyond grateful for today's ruling, we know that this matter is far from over," said Nullman in a statement. "We will continue to work diligently for Dr. Greene, her daughter and all the other first responders and medical professionals.”
Eric Greene's attorney, Paul Leinoff, told USA TODAY in a statement that they will comply with the order and continue to express their "respect for the important job being done by Dr. Greene and her fellow healthcare providers."
"Just as Mr. Greene initially sought the help of the law to protect the child, he will comply with and honor this latest order of the appellate court regarding the most appropriate means to maintain the child’s safety," said Leinoff.
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