Molly English-Bowers Mar. 1, 2016, 12:53pm


BELLEVILLE – A former nursing home employee is suing Bria Health Services for alleged wrongful termination after she refused to alter health questionnaires.  

Rachel Hadjan filed the suit Feb. 9 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Bria Health Services LLC in Belleville.

According to the complaint, on June 18, 2015, the plaintiff began working at the nursing home as the Social Service Director. From June 18 until her termination on Jan. 29, the plaintiff says she believes she performed her duties in a satisfactory manner and never received any discipline.

The only exception taken to the plaintiff's work, the lawsuit alleges, concerned her administration of the Patient Health Questionnaire, an instrument used by nursing homes for screening, monitoring, diagnosing and measuring the severity of depression in residents.

The suit alleges the defendant criticized the plaintiff for not over-reporting the existence of depression in the home's residents so that the defendant could collect additional funds from Medicare. The suit says the defendant consistently counseled and encouraged the plaintiff to artificially increase the scores on the questionnaire so it could obtain more funding.

When the plaintiff refused, she was discharged Jan. 29 without explanation, the lawsuit alleges. She claims the termination was related to her refusal to alter the questionnaires.

As a result, the plaintiff has sustained monetary damages including wages and benefits.

The plaintiff seeks actual and punitive damages in excess of $50,000 plus attorney fees and court costs. She is represented by John H. Leskera of the Leskera Law Firm in Collinsville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 16-L-79

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