Fired nurse files lawsuit against DHEC in wake of TB outbreak - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Fired nurse files lawsuit against DHEC in wake of TB outbreak

NINETY SIX, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A nurse who used to work at the Department of Health and Environmental Control's Greenwood office has filed a lawsuit against her former employer, alleging she was unjustly fired.

In an 11-page suit mailed to the Greenwood County Clerk of Court by attorney John Reckenbeil, the plaintiff, Malinda Martin, claims she was fired, "For failing to take it upon herself to unlawfully, and without authorization, test the children at the school for tuberculosis."

The suit also gives a timeline on what happened.

Starting on March 5, the suit claims a person was referred to the Greenwood County office, showing an active case of tuberculosis.

Martin claims she conducted the contact investigation, and sent multiple messages to her superiors, "Asking...'how to proceed,' as well as expressing a need for 'increased staffing', and the test antigen Tubersol," according to the lawsuit.

"Despite being warned of the gravity of the situation, DHEC failed to respond to any of the plaintiff's requests and made the decision not to test the school children until May 31," according to the suit.

Martin said her employment with DHEC was terminated May 30, one day before the additional testing at Ninety Six Primary School took place.

Twelve people have tested positive for tuberculosis disease, since the initial positive test was confirmed at Ninety Six Primary School, according to DHEC. Among the 12 are 10 children, a staff member and the initial index patient, Willie Spearman. Greenwood County Schools District 52's website identified Spearman as a janitor at the school.

DHEC also said an additional 73 people have tested positive for tuberculosis infection, which is a latent, non-contagious form of TB.

The suit doesn't seek a specific monetary amount, but does seek Martin's back pay, front pay, attorney fees and, "Damages to be found fair and equitable within the discretion of the fact finder."

DHEC told FOX Carolina Tuesday night they haven't yet been served with the lawsuit, and that they can't comment on pending legal matters.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All Rights Reserved.

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