Nurse Claims Kaiser Retaliated for Safety Complaints
6-5-2015 20:45:00

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (CN) - Kaiser fired a nurse because she complained about risks to patient safety in the cardiac catheterization department, she claims in Marin County Superior Court.

     L.C. sued Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Inc. for retaliation, labor code violations and wrongful termination.
     She worked for Kaiser for 13 years, first as an emergency room technician and later as a nurse, according to the complaint.
     After L.C. transferred from Kaiser’s San Francisco location to the San Rafael facility’s Cardiac Cath Lab and Interventional Radiology Department, she made three complaints which she alleges got her fired.
     In May 2012, L.C. complained to the Board of Registered Nursing about a nurse who engaged in unspecified practices that endangered patient safety, the complaint says.
     In July, “she complained that a ‘heart alert’ patient was not given priority over another that was undergoing elective surgery,” the complaint states.
     That fall, L.C. "complained that a patient had been oversedated, resulting in a ‘Code Blue’ situation,” it continues.
     L.C. contends what happened next was retaliation.
     “On or about Oct. 3, 2012, she received a non-disciplinary ‘coach and counseling’ session that later served, in part, as justification for her termination," the complaint states. "On or about Oct. 23, 2012, a transfer evaluation was altered. Whereas the original evaluation stated that [L.C.] met or exceeded expectations, the altered evaluation indicated that she ‘needs improvement’ in various areas. On or about Oct. 23, 2012,  [L.C.] received a negative annual performance evaluation; and [L.C.] received a letter notifying her that her employment was terminated effective May 16, 2013."
      [L.C.] seeks compensatory, consequential and punitive damages, pain and suffering, interest, attorney’s fees, costs and a jury trial. She is represented by Andrew M. Agtagma of the Law Center in Foster City.