Nurse sues Kindred Healthcare, alleges retaliation for his patient safety complaints


A nurse sued Louisville, Ky.-based Kindred Healthcare this week, alleging the organization fired him in retaliation for raising patient safety concerns, reports the San Antonio Express-News.

Sean Kinnie, RN, worked as an intensive care unit nurse at Kindred Hospital-San Antonio. Mr. Kinnie claims he was suspended twice and then fired after leaders at the 59-bed transitional care hospital learned he anonymously reported patient safety concerns to The Joint Commission in November 2019 and January. 

Mr. Kinnie said issues related to inadequate staffing and unsanitary care environments put patients in "grave danger," according to the lawsuit. He also said the hospital created a culture in which employees were afraid to stand up for patients for fear of retaliation from management. 

In January, Mr. Kinnie told the hospital's chief clinical officer Sharon Danieliewicz that he was the staff member who reported the patient safety concerns to The Joint Commission. Mr. Kinnie claims he faced increased scrutiny after this disclosure and was ultimately fired Feb. 24 for violating facility policy. Administrators told him he was let go for drawing a "culturally insensitive" image on his clipboard, which Mr. Kinnie denies. 

"We deny and plan to vigorously defend ourselves against the allegations contained in the lawsuit," Kindred Hospital-San Antonio Market CEO Abiola Anyebe said in an emailed statement to Becker's. "Otherwise, we are not at liberty to comment about pending litigation."

More articles on legal and regulatory issues:
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Health insurer fired exec over medical issues, lawsuit claims

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