Nurses Sue Detroit Hospital; Say Patients Died Because of Short-Staffing
It was only a matter of time.
Four nurses who were fired from Sinai-Grace Hospital during the COVID-19 outbreak are suing Tenet Healthcare, the for-profit company that owns and operates the hospital.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the lawsuit alleges that the nurses were fired for speaking out about the unsafe conditions at the hospital and the lack of staffing, which they claim resulted in the unnecessary deaths of dozens of patients.
The suit was filed on Wednesday in Wayne County Circuit Court, with damages of $25 million per plaintiff - nurses Jeffrey Eichenlaub, Sal Hadwan and Anthony Bonnett, and clinical coordinator Catherine Gaughan.
According to their termination documents, Tenet Healthcare claims that the above employees violated the company's social media conduct guidelines by speaking out. The plaintiffs allege that they are protected from this under the Michigan Whistleblowers' Protection Act.
Their attorney says that the above photos were leaked to CNN, showing stacked body bags in unrefrigerated rooms in the hospital and in a rented refrigerated truck because they had run out of space in the morgue.
The plaintiffs did NOT leak the photos but are being punished for it, according to their attorney.
One of the plaintiffs, Catherine Gaughan, says that she didn't take the photos but she did talk to one of her supervisors about the conditions of the hospital, calling them "inhumane."
She also claims that patients were being treated by old ventilators that the respiratory therapists did not know how to use and that patients were dying unnecessarily.
And the final kick-in-the-pants? They were all fired on May 6th - National Nurses Day.
My mind is absolutely BLOW by this entire debacle, but sadly, I'm not surprised. This is the price of for-profit healthcare - it's not about the well-being of the patients, it's about the bottom line. And that's when people end up dying for no reason.
It may be an unpopular opinion, but I hope that these nurses get every single penny of that suit. This hospital sounds like it's been a cesspool for a long time; maybe it's time to lock the doors.