Woman sues Golden Living Center, alleges constructive discharge

By Kyla Asbury | Oct 7, 2013

CHARLESTON - A woman is suing Beverly Enterprises-West Virginia Inc. for allegedly causing her constructive discharge and retaliating against her for reporting wrongdoing.

Beverly Enterprises-West Virginia Inc. is doing business as Golden Living Center-Riverside; GGNSC St. Albans Inc.; GGNSC Clinical Services LLC; Beverly Health and Rehabilitation Services Inc.; Aegis Therapies Inc.; and Tonya Carnell were also named as defendants in the suit.

Chrystal Hauser was employed as a full-time physical therapist for Riverside and in April, she placed telephone calls and spoke in person to Carnell, the defendants' director of rehabilitation, to complain about patient care and fraudulent Medicare billing practices at Riverside's St. Albans branch, according to a complaint filed Sept. 10 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Hauser claims shortly after her complaints, Carnell began retaliating against her and issued her verbal and/or written warnings that were pre-textual in nature in retaliation for her prior complaints.

On July 4, Hauser was constructively discharged, according to the suit, and the defendants' actions were willful, wanton and/or undertaken with reckless disregard and/or reckless indifference to Hauser's rights.

Hauser claims she made a good faith report of wrongdoing or waste and the defendants' retaliated or discriminated against her for making a good faith report.

As a direct and proximate result of the defendants' willful, wanton and reckless misconduct, Hauser is entitled to punitive damages to deter similar misconduct in the future, according to the suit.

Hauser is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by C. Benjamin Salango and Dan R. Snuffer of Preston & Salango PLLC.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-1707

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