West Virginia Record

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

N.C. woman says health provider fired her for speaking up

By Annie Cosby | Nov 24, 2014


HUNTINGTON – A North Carolina woman is suing over claims she was fired after reporting dangerous and improper patient care.

Melissa Chandler filed a lawsuit Sept. 24 in Cabell Circuit Court against Ultimate Health Services Inc., citing wrongful termination.

According to the complaint, Chandler was hired as a certified nuclear medicine technologist (CNMT) by the defendant on June 13, 2011, and she performed her duties satisfactorily. Chandler says CNMT employees administered radiopharmaceuticals to patients, which non-CNMT employees were not allowed to do per industry safety standards.

The complaint states a CNMT employee, who was late to work on multiple occasions, would call a non-CNMT employee to begin patient procedures and illegally administer radiopharmaceuticals, either forging the CNMT employee's initials on paperwork or waiting for the employee to arrive and do so later.

Chandler says she reported this dangerous and illegal activity to her supervisor March 21, 2013, and July 18, 2013.

The complaint also states that Chandler was instructed by her supervisor to violate medication protocols regarding caffeine usage when administering the drug Lexiscan.

Chandler says she attempted to document the procedure being followed in the administration of Lexiscan but her supervisor instructed her to leave the protocol violations out.

According to the complaint, Chandler was terminated Sept. 25, 2013, and she believes it was due to her reporting of rule, law and safety violations. The defendant is accused of tort of outrage, wrongful termination in violation of public policy and retaliatory discharge.

Chandler seeks compensatory and punitive damages, including lost wages, lost benefits, attorney fees and litigation costs.

She is represented by attorneys Erika Klie Kolenich and Karl Kolenich of Klie Law Offices in Buckhannon. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 14-C-676

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