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Whistleblower files lawsuit

Published on December 5th, 2009

The Charelston Gazette had an interesting article about a former employee of Broadmore Estates who has sued the Putnam County assisted-living facility for allegedly overlooking alcohol and substance abuse by its employees, and ignoring state regulations for drug distribution.  Lynn Gomez of Elkview filed the lawsuit in Putnam County Circuit Court on against Broadmore and the facility’s director, Delores Miles.  Gomez alleges in her lawsuit that she was ostracized and lost her job because of several complaints she brought to Miles about drug abuse and employee conduct.

Gomez was hired in February as a registered nurse and as director of wellness at Broadmore’s assisted-living facility in Hurricane.    When she began working, Broadmore’s patient charts and medical records were in disarray, the facility was understaffed and staff members did not follow state regulations for drug distribution.

She also alleges that, within her first few weeks at Broadmore, she was approached by a staff member and a pharmaceutical representative about a nurse who consistently came to work drunk or with alcohol on her breath.  Gomez alleges that the nurse approached her and stated "Lortabs do nothing for her and that she had already had four Percocet that day."

Gomez states that she approached Miles about the woman’s statement and was told the nurse "had been on drugs for a long period of time, and could practice while on the medications." She also was told the nurse had been off work for a medical condition, the lawsuit states.

Gomez alleges that the nurse falsified patient charts, saying she had administered drugs that she actually had not, and that Miles falsified documents to reflect that the drugs had been properly administered and were accounted for.

The nurse eventually was fired after an outside pharmaceutical representative discovered that the nurse had falsified drug distribution records, the lawsuit states.

Gomez wants back pay, compensation for emotional and mental stress and attorney’s fees.
 

Joe Pioletti
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