A former employee of Community Memorial Hospital, Staunton, is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 in a lawsuit filed in Macoupin County Circuit Court. The plaintiff, Brenda Albrecht, Staunton, claims she was terminated from her position on Sept. 1, 2015, after some 20 years on the job.
She alleges she was wrongfully terminated due to her age and because she reported to her supervisor a number of allegedly illegal activities taking place at the facility. In addition to the hospital itself, Albrecht also names as a defendant her former supervisor, Brandi Crawford, Staunton.
Three counts of the four-count lawsuit are directed at Community Memorial Hospital. Counts I and II, claim the 59-year-old plaintiff was terminated due to age and that she was “subjected to a hostile work environment and harassment, and was subjected to discrimination because of her age.”
Count III claims the hospital terminated her in retaliation for her reporting allegedly illegal activities at the hospital, including an ongoing practice of prescribing medications over the telephone without having seen the patient, discarding bio-hazard materials in the regular trash, failing to sanitize beds and counters, altering patients’ past medical records, failing to use epinephrine in the event of emergencies, failing to sterilize medical equipment prior to use, and providing improper care or treatment of patients.
Count IV is directed against Crawford, claiming she provided incomplete or inaccurate information to the hospital and failed to perform an adequate investigation, thereby causing Albrecht to be terminated from her job. The suit further alleges Crawford acted “maliciously with personal animosity” against Albrecht, and that Crawford acted for her own personal interests “contrary to those of Community Memorial Hospital.”
The suit asks for an unspecified judgment in excess of $50,000, claiming Albrecht lost and will continue to lose wages and fringe benefits due to her, and that she suffered emotional distress, mental anguish, pain and suffering, inconvenience and a loss of her enjoyment of life. According to the suits demand for judgment, Albrecht allegedly is entitled to pre-judgment interest as sell as interest from the date of judgment to the date the judgment is paid, if her suit is successful in court.
In addition to actual monetary damages, the suit seeks punitive damages against Crawford. A jury trial is demanded.
Albrecht’s lawsuit against the hospital marks the second time in two years the hospital is being sued for wrongful termination. In February 2016, Laura Schultze, Pocahontas, filed a lawsuit against Community Memorial Hospital and Brandi Crawford for the same reasons as Albrecht – wrongful termination because of her age and for reporting illegal activities on part of other employees at the hospital.
That suit does not have an update according to online court records. It also demands a jury trial and seeks damages in excess of $50,000.