Nurse sues former employer after losing job for reporting patient neglect

SHERMAN - A licensed vocational nurse has filed a lawsuit against her former employer that claims she was terminated for making good faith reports of patient neglect. Susan J. Rapp filed suit against Maxim Healthcare Services Inc. on Dec. 31 in Denton County District Court. The defendant removed the case to the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division on Jan. 28. Rapp, a licensed vocational nurse, claims that during the course of her employment she was assigned to a patient’s home where she provided home care nursing services during the late shift. According to the allegations, the daytime nurse had repeatedly failed to provide the patient with necessary care. Rapp claims she reported the day nurse’s neglect and abuse to her supervisors. She states the problems were not resolved and alleges she was instructed not to document what she witnessed or the effects it had on the patient in the patient’s medical records. Approximately two weeks later, Rapp was terminated for allegedly exhibiting unprofessional behavior, crossing professional boundaries, and inappropriately documenting her patient’s medical records. The defendant is accused of retaliating against Rapp for reporting a violation of the Texas Health & Safety Code. The plaintiff is asking the court to issue an injunction to stop the defendant from further unlawful employment practices and to require the defendant to rehire Rapp. Rapp is also asking for an award of damages for mental anguish, exemplary damages, compensation for lost wages, reinstatement of former position, reinstatement of lost fringe benefits, attorneys’ fees, court costs and interest. Rapp is represented by Grace Weatherly of Wood Thacker & Weatherly PC in Denton. A jury trial is requested. U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell is assigned to the case. Case No. 4:13-cv-00051

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