WASHINGTON, May 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- On May 15, 2020, Sarah Cusick, a Hearing & Speech Assistant at MedStar's Washington Hospital Center, filed suit against MedStar and the Washington Hospital Center (WHC), D.C. Superior Court Case No. 2020 CA 002531 B, for wrongfully terminating her employment because she reported the Hospital's failure to protect patients and staff under federal and District of Columbia protocols. Among the problems she reported between March 9 and March 18, 2020, were that WHC failed to provide staff with personal protective equipment (PPE), to screen patients and visitors for COVID-19 symptoms, to reschedule non-emergent appointments and appointments for high-risk patients, to practice social distancing in the Hospital's cafeteria, or to adequately train staff on COVID-19 protocols. After her supervisors failed to take action to address these problems, Ms. Cusick posted videos on Twitter that showed that Hospital personnel failed to follow D.C. and federal guidelines on screening and social distancing protocols. Immediately after she posted her videos, the Hospital terminated her employment on the ground that her posts were damaging to MedStar's "brand."
Ms. Cusick's case is the latest in a series of whistleblower lawsuits brought by healthcare workers whose employers retaliated against them after they reported safety issues. As one example, a nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital alleged in her suit that the hospital terminated her based on her reports of ineffective PPE.
Lynne Bernabei, one of Ms. Cusick's counsel, stated that employees like Ms. Cusick are risking their lives every day to give life-saving treatment to COVID-19 patients. This is the time for hospitals, such as the Washington Hospital Center, to protect its healthcare providers, who protect all the rest of us in society.
A copy of the complaint will be provided upon request.
Lynne Bernabei, Esquire
Devin Wrigley, Esquire
SOURCE Bernabei & Kabat, PLLC