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Kaiser manager allegedly fired for reporting unsafe patient care

According to a California lawsuit, a former Kaiser manager was fired after expressing concerns over the company's safety practices. Although the man had worked for the company nearly 30 years, he developed the concerns during the time he was a patient. The manager visited one of the company's facilities in September of 2012 to undergo a bronchoscopy, a routine outpatient procedure.

During the procedure, the blotched surgery allegedly resulted in a torn aorta and superior vena cava, which caused major complications, and the manager almost died. He stayed in the hospital a month and had several more surgeries in order to correct the problems. According to the complaint, it was during that time that the manager discovered what he considered to be problems in the treatment of patients regarding their care and safety.

Four months after returning to work, the manager voiced his concerns to a senior vice president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. The concerns included insufficient staff and resources, lack of emergency transportation, not following standard procedures and inadequate explanations to patients when procedures were changed. The manager also reported his concerns in writing.

Kaiser allegedly responded by claiming that it was looking into the matter, according to the complaint. The former manager was prohibited from discussing the allegations at work. Last October, Kaiser fired the manager, saying that his job had been eliminated. According to the complaint, the former manager was fired because he refused to cover up the company's unsafe treatment of patients.

The former manager is suing Kaiser for wrongful termination, saying that the company retaliated against him. Other employees finding themselves in a similar situation should consider consulting with an attorney to see if it would be possible for them to file a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Source: Courthouse News, "Nearly Killed, then Fired, Kaiser Manager Says", Tish Kraft, March 21, 2014

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