CHARLESTON - A Kanawha County man has filed a suit against the group home where he worked, claiming he was fired for not administering CPR to a resident who had blood in his mouth.

Deon Marshall filed the suit June 10 against RSCR West Virginia, Inc. a company that provides services for people with disabilities and special needs.

According to the suit, Marshall worked as a quality service assistant at the East End Group Home, located on Ruffner Avenue. During his shift in October 2007, Marshall and a coworker found a resident unresponsive.

The resident died of natural causes, the suit says, and an investigation was launched to look into the circumstances around the resident's death. Marshall, who is black, was placed on administrative leave, but his white co-worker was not, the suit says.

"While on administrative leave (Marshall) gave a statement to (RSCR) indicating that the resident had blood around his mouth so a face shield or resuscitation mask was necessary for (Marshall) to initiate CPR," the suit says.

However, Marshall claims no protective mask or safety equipment was available so he could not perform CPR without exposing himself to "potentially infectious blood and body substance," the suit says.

According to the suit, the investigation found that Marshall and his co-worker failed to initiate life saving measures. OHFLAC cited RSCR for numerous violations and deficiencies. Marshall was then fired for failing to perform CPR. His co-worker was not fired.

Marshall seeks back pay and front pay, with compensatory and punitive damages.

Attorney Tim Yianne is representing Marshall. The case has been assigned to Judge Charlie King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 08-C-1115

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