Murphy Jones LLP has filed a civil complaint in the District Court of Nevada on behalf of nurse Jessica Rice, RN against Sunrise Hospital Medical Center, et. al., for Defamation, Wrongful Termination, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Negligence, Conspiracy, Civil RICO violations and Fraud in relation to an ongoing dispute arising from Sunrise Hospital’s allegations of “intentional patient harm” against infant patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
On July 2, 2010, two-month old baby Miowne Obote died from complications stemming from a disrupted catheter line. Sunrise Hospital requested that the Las Vegas Metro Police Dept. investigate fourteen (14) incidents of disrupted catheters, and the subsequent police investigation has not led to any criminal charges being filed. The Clark County Coroner has admitted that his initial determination that the death was a homocide was not supported by any County Coroner investigation and instead he relied on the conclusion of the allegedly flawed analysis by an expert that Sunrise Hospital hired.
Subsequently, both Ms. Rice, and another NICU nurse were summarily suspended from nursing practice by the Nevada Board of Nursing. After an independent investigation, the Nevada Board of Nursing found no evidence of wrongdoing and reinstated both nurses’ licenses. (“Fired Sunrise nurse files suit,” Harasim 5/31/12, Las Vegas Review-Journal.)
Sunrise Hospital terminated the employment of both of nurses based on an alleged policy violation. The nurses’ union, (Service Employees International Union of Nevada; i.e., SEIU NV), filed a grievance against the hospital for wrongful termination. In December 2011, the Federal Arbitrator found in favor of Ms. Rice and issued an Order requiring Sunrise Hospital to reinstate Ms. Rice to her former position in the NICU and awarded her back pay. To date, Sunrise Hospital has refused to comply with the Arbitrator’s decision. The nurses’ union (SEIU) has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court seeking to enforce the Arbitrator’s decision.
The civil Complaint filed by Murphy Jones LLP on behalf of Ms. Rice on May 29, 2012, alleges that Sunrise Hospital was made aware of “at least thirteen (13) incidents involving intravenous catheter lines, in which the catheters became separated in two (2) of the incidents…interrupting the flow of fluids through the catheter. After two (2) catheter incidents resulted in harm or potential harm to infants in May 2010, Defendants intentionally, and/or with reckless disregard for the truth and/or negligently began a course of conduct that focused aggressively on employee Plaintiff Jessica Rice as the presumed suspect for the cause of the catheter incidents, labeled her as a ‘person of interest,’ terminated her from her employment without just cause, exposed her to public contempt, ridicule and disgrace and induced evil opinion of her.”