WHEELING -- A case in which a Wellsburg couple filed suit against Chancellor Health Partners and Weirton Health Partners, claiming the woman was wrongly terminated, has been moved to federal court.
Carol J. Allman and Michael Allman claim Carol started a job as the director of nursing at Chancellor and Weirton assisted living residences on June 1, 2007, but was fired April 2 because she tried to enforce regulations.
Throughout the scope of her employment, Carol attempted to perform the tasks of her job –- to admit "only those potential residents who required no greater than 'limited and intermittent nursing care' ... and to otherwise assess existing and potential residents for services they may require to ensure that they could safely and comfortably reside in the defendants' assisted living community," the original suit filed Sept. 8 in Brooke Circuit Court states.
But the Allmans claim Chancellor and Weirton repeatedly allowed residents who did not meet necessary requirements and did not receive the consent of Carol before doing so.
The two health centers also allowed residents to stay without Carol's consent, even though their medical needs outweighed the centers' ability, according to the complaint.
The centers also resisted or questioned Carol's recommendations, the suit states.
The Allmans claim the health centers did not want to heed Carol's recommendations regarding new admissions or care of previously admitted residents.
"The Plaintiffs believe, and they therefore allege, that Carol J. Allman's employment was terminated, in part, because she attempted to exercise the necessary discretion in either admitting or not admitting clients to the defendants' facility and/or because she attempted to influence defendants with respect to the admissions of residents," the suit states.
Carol's discharge was in retaliation for her attempt to influence the center's decision making, according to the complaint.
After her termination, Carol alleges her former co-workers said she was fired because of poor job performance, which Carol claims is not true.
Because of his wife's job loss, Michael has lost her society, support and consortium, according to the complaint.
The couple seeks unspecified special, general and punitive damages, plus pre-judgment interest and costs.
Because damages could amount to more than $75,000, Chancellor and Weirton Health Centers removed the case to federal court.
William Cipriani of Cipriani Law Offices in Wellsburg will be representing the Allmans.
Martin J. Saunders of Wheeling will be representing Chancellor and Weirton Health Centers.
U.S. District Court case number: 5:08-CV-155