Maine nurse claims jail's health care provider fired her for raising safety concerns

The nurse claims her firing was retaliation for reporting incomplete blood pressure exams, “improper sticks” and medication errors


By Jake Bleiberg
Bangor Daily News

SANFORD, Maine — A Sanford nurse is suing a health care company used by Maine prisons and jails for allegedly firing her for raising concerns about unsafe medical practices.

Last summer, Correct Care Solutions dismissed Maureen Everett, ending her 12-year tenure working at the York County Jail, the nurse said in an October lawsuit.

Everett claims that she was ostensibly fired for failing to come to work but that the true motive was retaliation against her for reporting incomplete blood pressure exams, “improper sticks” and medication errors.

Her case comes as the latest in a long line of lawsuits against Correct Care Solutions. In Maine and across the country, the Tennessee-based contractor has drawn criticism from inmates and their advocates for perceived shortcomings in the medical care it offers.

A spokesman and a lawyer for the company did not respond to requests for comment.

In her suit, which was moved Monday from a York County courthouse to the federal court in Portland, Everett claims that in July 2017 a colleague warned her that she would be fired upon returning from a vacation.

Two weeks later, Everett’s bosses told her to work a 14-hour shift instead of her normally scheduled eight-hour one, according to the court complaint. When Everett protested that she couldn’t safely work that long without sleeping they allegedly told her she could nap in a jail cell.

Later the same day, Everett says that she agreed to work a 12-hour shift, but that her boss rejected the offer and told her not to show up because she was suspended. She was then fired for “failing to report to work,” the court document states.

The lawsuit offers scant detail on the “unsafe practices and conditions” Everett was worried about, but states that her reporting these issues to her supervisors over 2017 was the real reason she was fired.

The Maine Human Rights Commission issued Everett a right to sue letter in July. She’s requested a jury trial and is seeking punitive and compensatory damages, along with legal fees, under the Maine Whistleblower Protection Act.

Everett’s lawyer, Guy Loranger of Old Orchard Beach, did not respond to a request for comment.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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