ASH hit with whistleblower retaliation suit
May 7, 2015
A former Atascadero State Hospital social worker has filed a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit alleging hospital management punished her by making her work with a known violent patient who ended up punching her in the face. [Tribune]
Amy Consolati, the plaintiff, is now on disability retirement. A day prior to her filing the lawsuit, the patient who attacked Consolati was convicted of battery resulting in great bodily injury and was sentenced to four years in prison.
Consolati alleges in the suit that hospital management transferred her to the unit with the attacker after she reported that ASH was recommending a flurry of discharges even though the patients did not meet criteria for release. Consolati was scheduled to testify in the trial of one those patients when management transferred her, the suit states.
At the trial, she testified that she was being denied access to the patient and his records, according to the lawsuit.
Previously, Consolati reported to management that three staff members created a fraudulent document in order to isolate a patient. Management transferred her multiple times and did so in retaliation for her whistleblowing, the suit alleges.
The lawsuit also states that Consolati was not familiar with the patients in the unit where she was attacked. She also did not receive standard supervisory support or coverage that could of protected her.
The patient punched Consolati in the nose when the social worker asked him about a package he was waiting for, according to a police report.
Consolati is seeking compensation for lost past and future earnings, as well as for health benefits and medical bills. She is also seeking unspecified damages and coverage of attorney’s fees.