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Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers / Blog / Employment Law / Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Iowa Nursing Home Alleges Employee Fired After Reporting Abuse

Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Iowa Nursing Home Alleges Employee Fired After Reporting Abuse


An Iowa dietary aid has filed a lawsuit against a nursing home after she claims she was fired for reporting nursing home abuse and neglect to state officials. The state officials later verified her claims. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleges that soon after she began her employment with the nursing home, she started witnessing troublesome conduct. She became concerned over the “abusive and undignified” way in which the nursing home’s staff members treated residents. According to her allegations, she witnessed staff becoming physically abusive with residents. She says that at one point, a staff member physically grabbed an elderly man and forced him into a chair. She also says that she heard staff “using profanity and yelling at residents, making them feel like a nuisance and a burden. She further alleges that residents were not given timely assistance when they called for help, and were not given their medications on time.

On July 9, 2022, the plaintiff complained to the Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing (DIAL) while they were conducting an onsite inspection of the nursing home. Another employee reported that the plaintiff had informed on her employer, and she was subsequently fired.

Arbitration agreement 

As part of her employment, the plaintiff was required to sign an arbitration agreement with her employer to arbitrate any disputes she had. The lawsuit contends that the arbitration agreement is invalid and unenforceable and that her firing violates well-established public policy prohibiting retaliation against whistleblowers. Iowa nursing homes are considered “mandatory reporters” that are required by law to report any instances of abuse or neglect.

The plaintiff is seeking unspecified damages from the nursing home as well as a declaratory judgment that the arbitration agreement is invalid.

Complaints against the nursing home 

DIAL was able to corroborate 13 of the 14 complaints the plaintiff leveled against the nursing home. Several residents had complained of neglect as well as rude and inconsiderate behavior committed by staff. One resident told investigators that if she needed something, the staff “would just laugh” at her. The same resident told investigators that staff had yelled at her not to use her call button and if she did so again, she would be ignored.

Inspectors also found numerous incidents of medical neglect. In one case, a resident reported having an anal fissure, but staff did not respond until a nurse noted “bright red drainage” from the resident’s buttocks. The woman was later taken to the hospital and diagnosed with septic shock as well as gangrene near her genitals. The woman died days after being admitted to the hospital.

The plaintiff contends that she was unlawfully fired from the nursing home after reporting abuse and neglect. Her case will be worth watching to see if the court upholds the arbitration agreement she signed.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Nursing Home Abuse and Whistleblower Attorney Today 

Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC represents the interests of Tampa residents who are filing whistleblower complaints against their employer. We also represent the interests of plaintiffs who have been injured by nursing home abuse and neglect. Call our Tampa employment lawyers today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin investigating your complaint immediately.



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