Ex-paramedic files suit against hospital

By Lawrence Smith | May 26, 2009

Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital

PARKERSBURG - A former paramedic for a Wood County hospital is alleging the hospital added insult to her work-related injury when she was later fired, all in less than a year.

On May 8, Malissa J. Adams filed a lawsuit against Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital Corporation in Wood Circuit Court. In her complaint, Adams alleges that while still recovering from an injury she sustained from working on one of its ambulances, C-CMH terminated her employment seven months later.

According to her complaint, Adams, 51, a resident of Vienna, was working on an ambulance wheelchair lift on May 11, 2007. Adams alleges she sustained a torn rotator cuff when her right hand got caught in the lift.

Because the malfunction of the lift "was a recurring problem which was not properly addressed," C-CMH created "a specific unsafe working condition which presented a high degree of risk and strong probability of serious injury of death."

Following her injury, Adams applied for and received workers' compensation benefits. While still receiving workers' comp, Adams states that C-CMH "effectively terminated" her on Dec. 13, 2007.

The termination, Adams alleges, was "in retaliation for making a claim for such benefits."

In her two-count complaint, Adams accuses C-CMH of deliberate intent and retaliatory discharge. As a result of both, Adams maintains she incurred "pain and suffering both past and future, lost wages both past and future, a diminished earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life… and emotional distress."

She is seeking unspecified damages, court costs and attorneys fees.
Scott Kaminski, with the Charleston law firm of Balgo and Kaminski, assisted Adams in filing the suit.

The case has been assigned to Judge Robert A. Waters

Wood Circuit Court, Case No. 09-C-242

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