Nurse claims false rumors over sexually molesting sedated patient cost him his job

Kelly Holleran Apr. 7, 2010, 9:42am

A Madison County nurse claims he was wrongly terminated from his job after his co-worker spread false rumors about him sexually molesting a sedated male patient.

The unnamed plaintiff, who identifies himself only as John Doe in the suit, filed a complaint April 1 in Madison County Circuit Court against Kathrynn Hartmann and Saint Anthony's Hospital of Alton.

Doe claims he worked as a recovery room nurse at the hospital for about 12 years prior to his termination. On April 2, 2009, Doe learned his co-worker, defendant Hartmann, allegedly accused him of sexually molesting a sedated patient, according to the complaint.

Because of the accusation, Saint Anthony's fired Doe, the suit states. The hospital and Hartmann then reported the alleged molestation to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which served a notice of disciplinary counsel to Doe to answer charges of unprofessional conduct, the complaint states.

Doe insists he did nothing wrong and describes Hartmann as "vindictive, a trouble-maker, that she did not get along with her co-workers, and in particular that she greatly disliked and was jealous of Plaintiff." Because of Doe's homosexual orientation, he claims the hospital subjected him to different treatment and more severe scrutiny than it would have subjected his heterosexual counterparts.

As a result of the false accusations made against him, Doe suffered severe and profound depression, embarrassment, humiliation and emotional harm, according to the complaint.

In his complaint, Doe seeks a judgment of more than $200,000, lost wages and benefits, actual damages of more than $50,000 and a reinstatement to his former position, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Doe names E.O. Kiepher and Cindy Drainer as respondents in discovery.

Jacqueline Brandenburg-Rees of Brandenburg-Rees and Rees in Chicago and Robert L. Perica of The Perica Law Firm in Wood River will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-370.

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