Fired woman sues hospital

By John O'Brien | Aug 3, 2006

Thomas Memorial Hospital

CHARLESTON - A woman says she was fired from Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston for complaining during a staff meeting.

Carole Michael filed a lawsuit July 26 in Kanawha Circuit Court against the hospital, claiming her termination was unfair.

"During her employment at Thomas Hospital, the plaintiff became aware of practices of the hospital which were harmful and/or potentially harmful to the health and safety of patients," the complaint says.

"Specifically, Thomas Hospital did not have adequate staff in its Department of Imaging Services to properly care for its patients."

Michael says she voice these concerns July 19 at a meeting called to address the issue but was fired the next day.

She says hospital staff even admitted that her termination was retaliation.

"The Vice President admitted to Carole Michael that her employment was being terminated because of her comments in the previous day's staff meeting and that the termination decision was 'irreversible,'" the complaint says.

Michael claims to have suffered lost wages and benefits, indignity, embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress.

She is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as court costs.

Mark Atkinson of Atkinson and Polak in Charleston is representing Michael.

Judge Charlie King has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-1462

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