A Jefferson County woman and a Harris County woman are suing over claims they were retaliated against by their nursing home employer after reporting patients' health and safety concerns.

Bertha Martin and Irene Preston filed a lawsuit Sept. 29 in Jefferson County District Court against HCSG Staff Leasing Solutions, Healthcare Services Group Inc., Spring Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation and Daybreak Venture, citing retaliation.

According to the complaint, Martin was employed as the housekeeping and laundry department supervisor and Preston as activities director at Spring Creek and Daybreak Venture's Spring Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Brickyard Road, Beaumont, when they witnessed abuse of residents through lack of care, frequent falls, filthy conditions and the theft or withholding of prescribed medications.

The plaintiffs say they reported this abuse to their supervisors, and they were assured there would be corrective action taken, but instead they became victims of a campaign of retaliation along with others who reported abuse.

Martin says her employment was transferred to HCGS Staff Leasing Solutions and Healthcare Services Group, and all employees became contract workers provided through these defendants.

Martin says the retaliation continued, with the new company considering her a "troublemaker" and her employment was terminated July 30, 2013, based on Spring Creek and Daybreak's representations. Spring Creek and Daybreak are accused of violating the , tortious interference with employment relationship, and slander per se.

The plaintiffs seek actual and exemplary damages, including lost earning capacity, attorney fees, interest and costs of court. They are represented by attorney Jane S. Leger of Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont.

Jefferson County District Court case number: A-196166

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