Nurse sues HealthSouth for defamation over CPR certification

By David Yates | May 24, 2012

A former HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital nurse is suing the medical provider for defamation, alleging a company employee wrongly accused her of fraudulently obtaining her certification to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

The lawsuit, filed by Caesonia Allen on May 18 in Jefferson County District Court, also names Joanna Donica as a defendant.

According to the petition, Allen worked for HealthSouth for 10 years until obtaining a job with a competitor in 2010. She maintained a relationship with a HealthSouth employee and on Feb. 2, 2012, picked up her CPR card from the employee after completing her certification.

Seven days later, Donica, at the direction of HealthSouth, sent letters to the Texas Respiratory Board and Texas Board of Nursing stating falsely that Allen received her CPR card without completing the required training.

"As a result of these false accusations, plaintiff has become the subject of an investigation by the Texas Nursing Board," the suit states, adding that the incident has caused her severe emotional distress and physical illness such as insomnia, nausea and vomiting.

Allen is accusing the defendants of defamation and of acting with malice, entitling her to exemplary damages.

Houston attorney Jessica Cartwright represents her.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. D192-467

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