Nurse alleges termination for reporting patient abuse

David Yates Jun. 13, 2013, 3:03pm

Area resident Shana Chesson is suing her former employer, Harbor Hospital of Southeast Texas, alleging she was terminated for reporting patient abuse.

The suit was filed May 31 in Jefferson County District Court. 

According to the lawsuit, on Feb. 6 Chesson, a Harbor nurse at that time, witnessed an emergency medical technician shaking a patient. The EMT was allegedly attempting to force the patient to go into cardiac arrest, telling the patient to “go to the light.” A nurse who was also there attempted to get Chesson to administer more morphine than prescribed to the patient, the lawsuit alleges.

Chesson claims she stopped the abuse and reported the incident to the nurse in charge, who told her she would be fired if she reported the incident to corporate.

On Feb. 15 Chesson witnessed the same EMT threaten to shock a patient with defibrillator paddles if the patient did not stop beating on his bed, the suit states.

On Feb. 22 Chesson reported the incidents to the hospital’s CEO, who told her not to report the incident to the state agency so he could investigate first, the suit claims.

On March 5 she was terminated, the suit states.

In her suit, Chesson alleges Harbor wrongfully retaliated against her, entitling her to damages for her mental anguish and loss of wages and benefits.

She is also suing for actual and exemplary damages and reinstatement.

Beaumont attorney Kenneth Lewis of Bush Lewis represents her.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. E194-404

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