01/09/2012 // Los Angeles, CA, USA // Keller Grover LLP // California employment lawyer Eric Grover
Ann Arbor, MI (CA Employment Lawyer News) — A wrongful termination lawsuit has been brought against a Pittsfield Township nursing home by three former employees, who were allegedly fired as a result of reporting patient abuse and neglect after finding maggots on a patient, reports California wrongful termination attorney Eric Grover, of Keller Grover LLP.
According to information provided by AnnArbor.com, certified nursing aides Nikenda Morton, Wanda Mosley and Latasha Bryant filed the lawsuit on November 22 to seek relief under the state’s Whistleblower Protection Act. All three plaintiffs worked at Whitehall Healthcare Center of Ann Arbor and were involved in the investigation, after the state was alerted to a resident’s fall and the discovery of maggots in the vaginal area of a female resident.
Morton alleges that she was assigned to a patient that was at-risk for falling; but because Morton injured her wrist and wasn’t supposed to lift more than 10 pounds, she alerted management that she couldn’t help a resident if she did fall. On August 10, 2011, the resident fell and injured her foot. Morton’s supervisors instructed her not to write a report about the fall, prompting Morton to file a complaint with the state. When the state launched an investigation and found no report about the incident, Morton told the investigator that she was instructed not to write one. Morton claims she was fired the next day, states California employment attorney, Eric Grover.
While Whitehall claims Morton was fired because she left the dining room after she was told not to, the lawsuit asserts that she had never been told to stay in the dining room, and instead was fired for filing the complaint and participating in the investigation.
Bryant and Mosley, who were reportedly the aides that cleaned up the patient with the unsanitary genital area, also assert that they were fired for cooperating with state investigators, the California wrongful termination lawyer explains.
Bryant claims that Whitehall tried to hide her from investigators by prohibiting her from entering the property during the investigation, and subsequently suspended her on August 27 for not providing her fingerprints to the facility. But, Bryant did in fact participate in the investigation from home, the lawsuit states. After providing her fingerprints on Aug. 29 she was fired on Sept. 6.
Mosley claims that she was fired after the nursing home received the state’s report, which included her statement. The report detailed the maggot discovery and allegations of poor care and unsanitary conditions at Whitehall.
Following the state’s investigation into the allegations, which was completed in September, the state found: “Whitehall failed to provide appropriate hygiene and catheter care to a resident whose vaginal area became infested with maggots: failed to supervise two residents in wheelchairs, both of whom were injured as a result; failed to provide a sanitary, comfortable and orderly interior; failed to adequately monitor the fluid intake and output for a patient who became dehydrated; failed to maintain complete staff personnel files and complete required certification, license and background checks,” AnnArbor.com revealed.
Whitehall asserts that all issues cited in the state’s report have since been rectified.
The employment lawsuit—which is seeking a jury trial— names Whitehall and Coastal Administrative Services LLC, DBA La Vie Administrative Services, and Shoreline Management Services, DBA La Vie Management Services, as defendants. The suit is asking for unspecified compensatory damages for economic injury, including loss of employment, mental and emotional distress, humiliation, plus attorney fees and court costs.
“After the state’s report confirmed the employees concerns for poor patient care and unsanitary conditions, it became apparent that these terminated employees actually care about the quality life of the residents, by doing the right thing and reporting it. No elderly person should ever have to endure conditions such as these patients have,” comments the Los Angeles employment lawyer Eric Grover.
“Firing employees because they ‘blew the whistle’ on the nursing home is just as wrong as the facility’s alleged failure to provide adequate care to these patients, added the California wrongful termination lawyer.
This news was brought to you by the Los Angeles employment lawyers at Keller Grover LLP.
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