Great new blog called “Florence is Dead!”

Wow, I wish I’d thought of this name! This is a new blog. The author, an anonymous BSN, is spot on with her perceptions of nursing as it is today.

Check it out here:

Florence is Dead


I’m a Rock Star! Who Knew?

I’m a rock star! Who knew?

From Greg Mercer: “It was bound to happen with so many songs coming in. Congratulations to nurse Melissa Brown! She’s contributed so many songs, I have to honor her with her own post. She’s the headliner today: on with the show!”

Check me out here:

I’m the First Nurse to Receive Big Red Carpet Nursing’s Tune Typhoon Award! 

Gotta have my music! 🙂

The rambling missive of the morning: To Dr. J

Dear Dr. J.,

You were right about one thing. You never came out and said it (at least to me), but the redness in your face when I verbally sparred with you in various staff meetings spoke volumes.

Oh yes, I am a troublemaker. A “nurse activist”, that’s the lingo. You knew that from the time I spent as a patient at ASU in 2001. You already knew what I, along with hundreds of other nurses, had already accomplished. You knew, yet you let them hire me anyway. Good for you for standing up for a former patient! Kudos!

Here’s a tip for the future. I knew going in to my deposition that I most likely wouldn’t be able to continue pursuing my case. We had already spent $4000.00, and we didn’t have the funds to continue. That said, I got exactly what I wanted.

I have my own words, spoken under oath, regarding the efforts other nurses and staff made over the years to improve safety, staffing and security at ASU. It is the truth, my truth. I wanted it on record for the specific purpose of sharing it. That is also why, most likely, the attorney for ASU kept trying to stop me from talking. He failed. Granted, he didn’t comprehend my intent. He thought I wanted money or (as odd as it seems), my old job back. Nope. It was pretty simple to lead your high-priced attorney around like a donkey chasing my carrot. Choose better next time.

I dressed rather poorly for the big event. Old, brown clogs (I told my attorney I forgot to change my shoes), clothes that hung on me despite my increased weight, and out-sized, goofy looking drugstore glasses. I didn’t bother to fix my hair. All of that was intentional, too. Your attorney underestimated me. That was my goal.

About that deposition…..perhaps Lakeview’s attorneys thought the inflated price of my deposition would stop me from obtaining it. However, they underestimated the power of the internet as well as the breadth and depth of friendships I have made in the online world over the years (decades, really.) Even I didn’t know they would be willing help me buy my own words. But they did. Oh yes, they did. It only took two weeks to raise the necessary funds.

At this point, let me say that you may well have been correct in some aspects of your final diagnosis of me. Yes. I am intelligent and calculating. I am patient, and I don’t mind waiting. Waiting unearths many truths. The one diagnostic area in which you erred was in your claim (according to the diagnosis you gave me), that I didn’t care about others. You were wrong. So very….wrong.

I care, deeply, about other nurses and nursing. You knew that when I was a patient at ASU. You knew that was a major part of the reason I was a patient there in the first place. You knew what my then-activism did to me. You knew what being told I would never work again as a nurse did to my heart, my soul. You knew.

Now, about nursing…..mentoring new nurses was one of the joys of my career. I don’t foresee a day when I will ever stop caring, even though I am now retired. At least I am finally free to tell my stories, share my truths. It is my hope that my experiences will help other nurses cope, understand and ultimately manage their own truths, including the stigma associated with mental illness.

You see, more and more health care professionals are speaking up about their struggles with mental illness, including PTSD related to working in health care. To that end, I have started a Facebook group for nurses and other medical professionals and technicians entitled “PTSD in Health Care Workers: The Epidemic.” Stop by and see us sometime.

I cared about my patients, too. You knew that when you wrote that sweet, little note of appreciation to me. You weren’t aware, but I kept that note from you on a special shelf in my living room for years. When I was confused or sad about a patient in my care, I re-read your note. Your note helped me stay grounded. I do thank you for that. Who knew that little note would someday become part of a court case?

You see, Dr. J, I idolized you, even though we often disagreed. You knew me, but you allowed me to work there anyway. You allowed me to use the gift of surviving an episode of severe, suicidal major depressive disorder to help others. Perhaps you viewed me, discreetly, as a success story. I expect you did. But in the end, you let me down. You broke my heart. Not Terry, not Libby, but YOU.

Without providing me the opportunity to confront the lies that were told about me that morning, you told me I gave “horrible, horrible care.” Your parting words rang in my head for months.

You were not present at that meeting to support me. You were there to crucify me, based on lies you were told. You were manipulated, Dr. J. Sadly, I expect you realize that by now.

Top of the morning to you, sir.

Melissa Franklin Brown

Who is that Guerrilla Nurse?


I am Melissa Brown, otherwise known as the Guerrilla Nurse. I am a retired RN living in Penscola, Florida.

For 37 years, I practiced as an RN is multiple clinical settings including emergency nursing, flight nursing, all critical care units except neonatal and, from 2002 until 2013, as an RN in psychiatric and substance abuse settings.

The Guerrilla Nurse was born when Alene Nitzky RN PhD asked me to write a blog post for her new website, Fighting Dinosaurs

The first post was written just in time for Nurses’ Week in 2015. My second post was written about two weeks later.

Guerrilla Nurse: Part One

Guerrilla Nurse Part Two

In May of 2013, I was fired from my position as an RN at Lakeview ASU in Pensacola, Florida. With the help and support of my husband, I was able to do what most nurses can’t do: I sued my prior employer.

And what an adventure it has been!

After my deposition on April 9, 2015, I learned I wouldn’t be able to obtain a copy due to the price: nearly $600.00! However, another nurse for whom I have the greatest respect, Donna Carol Maheady RN APRN EdD of Exceptional Nurse, suggested I start a gofundeme page in order to request donations so I could purchase my deposition. I didn’t think it would work, but within two weeks, I raised the funds from special nurses and other friends who believed in what I was trying to do.

I promised I would post the deposition online if and when I could buy it. Here it is: My deposition. It is long — 225 pages! I had to redact, of course, all of the information that could identify patients or patient situations. In addition, after considerable thought, I decided to redact the names of all the nurses, psych techs and others with whom I worked while I was at ASU.

Several of the people whose names were brought up in my deposition still work at ASU. As they will see in my deposition, I tried my best to protect them. Yes, I was asked in my deposition to name those with whom I spoke or interacted after i was fired. The only thing I can do at this point is redact your names.

However, I did NOT redact the names of those in management who were responsible for my termination and ultimate suit against Lakeview ASU. Those names, as well as their actions, need to be exposed. I understand the risk. It is a risk I am willing to take.

I will leave it to my old coworkers to read this deposition. All of you need to know what you are up against should you decide to sue one of the largest health care corporations in town.

I also edited out one specific situation that was addressed in the deposition. To leave it as it stood could affect another nurse. I won’t do that. More on that specific situation later.

My deposition

*****I have edited this document to exclude the names of the front line nurses and techs with whom I worked. I have also redacted personal information about myself and my husband, as well as all information that could be used to idenfity a particular patient or patient situation. Unfortunately, the edits I made do not show in the HTML document. I will need to address this line by line using the web site word processor. Until then, this document may sound confusing. I apologize for that. *****



4 Plaintiff,

vs. Case No.: 3:14-CV-00406-MCR-EMT


8 Defendant. 9






15 taken at the law offices of Westberry & Connors, 4400

16 Bayou Boulevard, Suite 32A, Pensacola, Florida, on the

17 9th day of April, 2015, at 9:10 a.m. 18









1 A P P E A R A N C E S


4 3000 Langley Avenue
Suite 300
5 Pensacola, Florida 32504


8 RSA Battle House Tower, 20th Floor
P.O. Box 1548
9 Mobile, Alabama 36633-1548

11 Also Present:

12 Angie Kahiapo


Mary Ellen Thursby, RPR 15














Direct Examination by Mr. Umbach 6
Certificate of Oath 221
Certificate of Reporter 222


Defendant’s Exhibit 1 7
12 (Interrogatories)

13 Defendant’s Exhibit 2 95
(Timeline of Events)
Defendant’s Exhibit 3 117
15 (Responses to Commission)

16 Defendant’s Exhibit 4 129
(Termination Event Clarification)
Defendant’s Exhibit 5 129

19 Defendant’s Exhibit 6 133
(“Lies and Mischaracterizations”)
Defendant’s Exhibit 7 137
21 (Letter from Witness 12/2/13)

22 Defendant’s Exhibit 8 144
(Emails to Commission)
Defendant’s Exhibit 9 146
24 (Emails to and from Commission)



1 INDEX OF EXHIBITS (continued)

2 Page

3 Defendant’s Exhibit 10 154
(Write-up for Safe Incident)
Defendant’s Exhibit 11 154
5 (Probation Document)

6 Defendant’s Exhibit 12 165
(Transporting Client Policy)
Defendant’s Exhibit 13 171
8 (Clarification Document)

9 Defendant’s Exhibit 14 171
(2/5/13 note with nursing notes)
Defendant’s Exhibit 15 173
11 (FMLA Paperwork)

12 Defendant’s Exhibit 16 173
(Fitness for Duty form)
Defendant’s Exhibit 17 175
14 (Probation Summary)

15 Defendant’s Exhibit 18 178
<Redacted due to HIPAA.)
Defendant's Exhibit 18 183
17 (Re-marked Exhibit 19)
(Accident Report 1/22/13)
Defendant's Exhibit 20 183
19 (State Staffing Standards)

20 Defendant's Exhibit 21 185
(Harassment Policy)
Defendant's Exhibit 22 186
22 (5/14/13 meeting)

23 Defendant's Exhibit 23 189
(Orientation Checklist)
Defendant's Exhibit 24 189
25 (Lakeview Handbook)









8 S T I P U L A T I O N

9 It is stipulated and agreed by and between counsel

10 for the parties that this deposition is taken for the

11 purpose of discovery and/or evidence; that all

12 objections save as to the form of the questions are

13 reserved to the time of trial; and that the signature

14 of the witness to said deposition is waived along with

15 notice of filing of the original hereof.

16 ************













3 the witness, having been first duly sworn to tell the

4 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, was

5 examined and testified as follows:



8 Q. Ms. Brown, my name is Trip Umbach, and I

9 represent Lakeview Center in the lawsuit that you have

10 filed. We are here today to take your deposition, in

11 other words, to get your testimony so that we can use

12 it in the case. Do you understand?

13 A. I understand.

14 Q. And you understand that you are under

15 oath today?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. It's going to be important for everyone

18 involved in your case that you understand the

19 questions you're asked today. Okay?

20 A. (Nods head.)

21 Q. So if there is any question you're

22 asked — my question, Clayton's question — we want

23 you to let us know if you don't understand it.

24 A. Okay.

25 Q. Okay?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. So if you answer the question and you

3 don't say otherwise, it's going to read as if you have

4 understood it.

5 A. I understand.

6 Q. You see what I'm saying?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. I just wanted to emphasize the

9 importance of that. If you don't understand a

10 question, I'll be happy to rephrase it as best I can.

11 Okay?

12 A. Okay. Thank you.

13 Q. If you need to take a break at any

14 point, we can certainly do that. Don't know yet how

15 long we'll be here, but I promise you I'll be as

16 efficient as I can.

17 Let me do this: I want to get some

18 background information from you. Probably the

19 simplest way to do this is let me show you the

20 interrogatory answers you've provided.

21 (Defendant's Exhibit 1 marked for

22 identification.)

23 I marked this as Defendant's Exhibit 1.

24 These are the answers that you submitted to your

25 lawyer; is that correct?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. It has your signature under oath on the

3 very last page; is that right?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Do you remember reviewing these?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. There are a number of names you've gone

8 by and you have listed them here.

9 A. Yes.

(Personal info redacted.)


10 —

14 Q. He was self-employed doing survey work?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. I apologize if it seems like I’m prying

17 into your personal business, but given the nature of

18 the claims and damages you’re seeking, I do need to

19 know a little bit about his medical situation.

20 A.
(Personal medical info readacted) 14

17 Q. All right. I have some information here

18 about the various places you have worked. It’s in

19 response to Interrogatory No. 3 on page 2 if you want

20 to refer to it.

21 A. Right.

22 Q. And as I understand it, these are —

23 this is all the employment you had leading up to your

24 work at Lakeview; is that right?

25 A. Yes.


1 Make sure something hasn’t been in

2 there — yes.

3 Q. Other than Lakeview, have you ever been

4 terminated from a job?

5 A. No.

6 Q. And I see here when you were working for

7 Critical Difference, Critical Difference, Inc., 1995

8 to 1998, you became ill resulting in a physical

9 disability in late 1998.

10 A. 19 — March 1999. Early spring 1999.

11 Q. What was the physical disability?

12 A. I have a disability called Stiff

13 Person Syndrome

14 Q. Stiff?

15 A. Stiff Person Syndrome . It’s pretty

16 rare. It’s also called Moersch Woltman Syndrome.

17 M-O-E-R-S-C-H W-O-L-T-M-A-N. W-O-L — yeah. And I

18 was — yes.

19 Q. When were you — you were diagnosed with

20 that sometime in ’98 or ’99?

21 A. ’99.

22 Q. And how does that — do you still have

23 this condition?

24 A. I still do.

25 Q. And how does it affect you?


1 A. For two years I was very ill, and at

2 this point the only problems that I have now, I have

3 problems with balance, problems with muscle stiffness,

4 obviously, spasms now and then. I am much, much

5 better. I was not expected to get better, but I did.

6 I wanted to go back to work.

7 Q. Do you still — do you receive treatment

8 for this condition?

9 A. My personal physician is aware of it, so

10 yes. Yes.

11 Q. You don’t take any medications

12 specifically for it?

13 A. Specifically for that, Lyrica, uh-huh.

14 Lyrica is very helpful, yes.

15 Q. How long have you taken Lyrica?

16 A. Lyrica about — probably — it was first

17 prescribed several years ago, but I didn’t take it, so

18 probably routinely for about a year maybe.

19 Q. Who is your physician?

20 A.

21 Q. And she’s been your physician for some

22 time, right?

23 A. Yes. Since 2002, yes.

24 Q. Did you see any other doctors besides

25 during the time you worked at Lakeview?


1 A. No.

2 Q. Okay. Have you seen any other doctors

3 besides Osban since you left Lakeview?

4 A. No.

5 Q. No?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Where is she located?

8 A. She’s located at — on Airport Boulevard

9 in the Sacred Heart Hospital Center there on Airport

10 Boulevard.

11 Q. In Pensacola?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. What kind of doctor is she?

14 A. She is a DO.

15 Q. Were there ever periods of time that you

16 were physically unable to work?

17 A. For about two years.

18 Q. About two years?

19 A. But after that, no. I worked. I got

20 better. I worked hard.

21 Q. And that was roughly ’99, 2000, 2001, in

22 that period of time?

23 A. Right.

24 Q. But since that time, there has been no

25 period of time where you’ve been physically unable to


1 work?

2 A. No.

3 Q. On up to the present day; is that

4 correct?

5 A. That’s correct.

6 Q. And I see you — do I understand

7 correctly you wrote a book?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. In ’99?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And what was the book?

12 A. It’s called “Nursing and the Internet.”

13 I wrote it with Barbara Accello.

14 Q. “Nursing and” —

15 A. — “the Internet.” It was the advent of

16 the internet, and I wrote it with Barbara Accello, RN,

17 MSN. She lives in Denton, Texas. Unfortunately, our

18 publisher, publishing house was sold, and the new

19 publisher decided they weren’t going to publish any

20 the books that were under contract. But I do have a

21 letter from Barbara Acello attesting to us — it took

22 us about — oh, God — six, eight months. We wrote it

23 together.

24 Q. So was it published?

25 A. No. No.


1 Q. Do you have the manuscript?

2 A. No.

3 Q. No?

4 A. It was on a computer. No.

5 Q. Does Ms. Acello have it?

6 A. She may have it. She may. I would have

7 to ask her.

8 Q. But you don’t have a hard copy or an —

9 A. No.

10 Q. — electronic copy?

11 A. No, I don’t. It was on the computer

12 that died.

13 Q. Did I see correctly that you were

14 diagnosed with cancer at some point?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Was it breast cancer?

17 A. Breast cancer in 199- — late 1995, and

18 I had reconstruction in March 1996, and then I had a

19 different type of breast cancer in 2003 on the other

20 side, and I had surgery, chemo, and radiation in 2004,

21 spring of 2004, and I continued to work.

22 Q. Did you miss any time at all?

23 A. I missed a — some days when I was going

24 through the — basically after the radiation started,

25 I did miss some days, but I always let my supervisor


1 know ahead of time, and they were willing to work with

2 me on that most of the time.

3 Q. Was that when you worked at Lakeview?

4 A. I worked at West Florida Community Care

5 Center, which is managed by Lakeview.

6 Q. Okay. And that was when you had the

7 chemo and radiation?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. But the reconstruction that you had was

10 not while you worked at Lakeview?

11 A. No. I worked one year in real estate,

12 and I went back to work about two weeks after the

13 surgery in real estate.

14 Q. But you’re, as far as you know, cured of

15 the cancer?

16 A. Yes, as far as I know. My last

17 mammogram was about a month ago.

18 Q. It’s all clear?

19 A. All clear.

20 Q. Let’s talk a minute about after you left

21 Lakeview. It looks to me like you had a period of

22 roughly a year where you were unemployed; does that

23 sound right?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Did you seek unemployment benefits when


1 you left Lakeview?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Did you receive them?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Do you remember for what period of time

6 you got unemployment?

7 A. From the end of June of 2013, to the

8 best of my recollection, through December of 2013.

9 Q. Six months?

10 A. Yeah. Seven.

11 Q. Do you remember how much you got by

12 week, month?

13 A. Five hundred every two weeks, maybe 550.

14 Q. Did Lakeview contest your unemployment?

15 A. If they did — I was told that yes, they

16 contested it. I was never notified by unemployment that

17 they contested it. I was never called. I was never

18 asked. I provided my side when I initially applied

19 for the unemployment, told them what had happened, and

20 if Lakeview contested it, then — because I got it.

21 Q. So you don’t know —

22 A. They never told me it was contested.

23 Nobody ever told me. Heard a rumor that it was.

24 Q. Okay. But you don’t —

25 A. I don’t know.


1 Q. You don’t know?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Okay. Did you have to testify in order

4 to get unemployment?

5 A. No.

6 Q. So you never had to go to a hearing?

7 A. No.

8 Q. Either in person or by phone?

9 A. No. No, I didn’t. I submitted my

10 information.

11 Q. And you got it?

12 A. And I got it.

13 Q. Am I correct that you’re employed now?

14 A. Not now. I left in mid-February —

15 mid-February basically I retired. I’m still available

16 for them at Gulf Breeze Recovery if they ever need me

17 for prn, but I left primarily to be with my husband

18 then and now…

19 Q. And “now” what?

20 A. Now that he’s had that diagnosis,

21 it’s — I don’t see myself going back to work any time

22 soon.

23 Q. So you left to be with your husband

24 before he was diagnosed with the brain issue?

25 A. Yes. Well, he left — I retired from


1 nursing completely. That was the deal. Retired.

2 I’ll be 61 in April and 62 next year. After what I’ve

3 been through, I was —

4 Q. You miss it?

5 A. No.

6 I take that back. Sometimes I do. I

7 miss the people that I worked with, and I miss the

8 clients. I do. I do.

9 Q. Did you provide anything to your most

10 recent employer in writing about retiring?

11 A. No. It was all verbal.

12 Q. Who did you tell?

13 A. I told — I told — who is the CEO of

14 Gulf Breeze Recovery? And I’m drawing a blank on his

15 name. And I told Jay Miller. He’s the assistant to

16 the CEO, and I told Brenda Waugh, LPN, who is actually

17 the nurse supervisor. I am an RN, but I worked there

18 because I wanted something to do part time, yeah. I

19 talked with all of them about it, and they know that

20 I’m available for prn work, which means as needed.

21 Q. Right. But you’re not seeking work

22 otherwise?

23 A. No.

24 Q. If this particular employer were to call

25 you and need you, you might do it?


1 A. Uh-huh.

2 Q. But you’d be just as happy if they

3 didn’t?

4 A. Right. No scheduling. I don’t want it

5 to be on a permanent schedule, but I liked working

6 there.

7 Q. What’s the name of it? Gulf Breeze?

8 A. Gulf Breeze Recovery. It’s a substance

9 abuse recovery center in Gulf Breeze. What is his

10 name? Barnett Gilmore, that’s his name. CEO.

11 Q. Did you work there full time?

12 A. No.

13 Q. You never were full time?

14 A. No, I was never full time there.

15 Q. Were you seeking full-time work?

16 A. No. I was seeking full-time work for

17 months, but I couldn’t find a position that I could

18 do.

19 Q. How many hours did you work at Gulf

20 Breeze?

21 A. I worked about — sometimes 26 to

22 30 hours a week. There were no benefits or anything.

23 They didn’t have a full-time position available.

24 Actually, they called me. I didn’t even apply. They

25 called me.


1 Q. How did they know to call you?

2 A. Two of my friends that I worked with at

3 ASU worked there, Lakeview ASU, worked there.

4 Q. Who were they?

5 A. <Names redacted, two employees.)

6 Q. <Name redacted.)

7 A. Yes. They called me in March, April,

8 yeah, of last year. I'm not sure when they called me

9 really. I started there in June, so it must have been

10 May when she called me.

11 Q. Were you seeking work at the time?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And what was your rate of pay at Gulf

14 Breeze?

15 A. Nineteen dollars an hour with no —

16 no — no shift differential, evening shift

17 differential. Standard $19 an hour.

18 Q. And that was your rate of pay the whole

19 time you worked there?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Look at page 6 of your answers to

22 interrogatories. And I'm looking at your answer No. 4

23 where we asked you about your efforts to find

24 employment —

25 A. Right.


1 Q. — since — after you left Lakeview, and

2 you list specific dates and entities here.

3 A. Uh-huh.

4 Q. And how do you know these specific

5 dates? Do you have some record you were going by?

6 A. You have to keep a record of the places

7 you've applied when you're on unemployment, and it's

8 basically if you — you look and see if there is a job

9 or if there isn't a job, and I even considered travel

10 nursing at one time. I couldn't find a travel nurse

11 job for a psychiatric nurse. That was… We had no

12 income then other than my husband's work.

13 Q. So you kept a record for unemployment

14 purposes of who you considered working for?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And do you still have —

17 A. Looking for jobs? I do.

18 Q. Have you given that to Mr. Connors?

19 A. I don't know. I don't know.

20 Q. But whether or not you did, that's the

21 piece of paper you used —

22 A. Right.

23 Q. — to provide the information that's

24 here?

25 Okay. And it looks like the first item


1 you've listed here the date is July 9th of '13.

2 A. Uh-huh.

3 Q. And that's approximately two months, a

4 little less than two months, after you left Lakeview,

5 right? You left Lakeview May 16th of 2013?

6 A. Right. So this would have been — I

7 started before that.

8 Q. Well, that's my question. Did you do

9 anything to find work between May 16, 2013 —

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And July 9th of '13?

12 A. Yes, I did.

13 Q. And why is it not listed here?

14 A. I don't know.

15 Q. What did you do?

16 A. Basically internet searches, calling and

17 talking to friends, networking with friends online.

18 Q. Anything else in that two-month period?

19 A. I'm sure that I did. I don't know why

20 it isn't here, but yes, I did.

21 Q. Do you have a record of it?

22 A. At home, yes.

23 Q. You do?

24 A. Yes. I should, yes. I'm not absolutely

25 sure. I don't know why it isn't here.


1 Q. So if you have a record and you haven't

2 given it to your lawyer, I would ask you to do that.

3 A. Okay.

4 Q. Did you apply for any jobs in that

5 two-month period?

6 A. There were no jobs available locally for

7 a psychiatric nurse that I could do. There were jobs

8 in ICU jobs in CCU, which is what I used to do instead

9 of critical care, but I can't do that anymore.

10 Q. Why?

11 A. Physically.

12 Q. “Physically,” what do you mean?

13 A. Too hard.

14 Q. Critical care is physically too hard to

15 do?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And I'm not a nurse, but what is — why

18 does critical care require more — it's more

19 physically demanding?

20 A. You're on your feet 12 hours, you lift

21 patients, you turn the patients, you hang IVs, you

22 do — you very seldom get to sit. Sometimes you don't

23 even get to take a break, and at my age it was too

24 much for me to do. That's why psychiatric nurse

25 particularly at Lakeview was actually a good fit for


1 me because I was able to take breaks if I needed to.

2 Q. Is critical care — is that like working

3 in a nursing home?

4 A. Critical care, no. That's like trauma

5 nursing. Things like that. Trauma nursing, that's

6 my — my past is an emergency nursing/flight nursing

7 paramedic. All things that I would love to be able to

8 do, but I can't.

9 Q. So what — let me ask you this: I've

10 not asked you about your education. Tell me about

11 that. Where did you go to high school?

12 A. Woodrow Wilson High School.

13 Q. Where is that?

14 A. Beckley, West Virginia.

15 Q. You are from West Virginia?

16 A. Born in Baltimore, raised in West

17 Virginia, yes.

18 Q. And then what about after high school?

19 Tell me about your education.

20 A. After high school I went to Concord

21 College in Athens, West Virginia, what is now Concord

22 University, and I went there for close to three years.

23 I was majoring in literature, English literature.

24 That was my major. And my father talked me into going

25 to nursing school. I applied for the job — not the


1 job. I applied for nursing school and got in.

2 Q. Where at?

3 A. Bluefield State College.

4 Q. Where is that?

5 A. In Bluefield, West Virginia.

6 Q. Did you get a degree from Concord?

7 A. No, I didn't.

8 Q. Did you get a degree from Bluefield?

9 A. Yes. I have an associate in nursing.

10 Q. And tell me about your education after

11 that.

12 A. After that? In terms of college?

13 Q. College, nursing, anything.

14 A. Okay. Nursing-wise, you have to keep up

15 your CEUs, you have to do continuing education every

16 two years to keep your license.

17 Q. But the highest degree you have is the

18 associate's degree nursing —

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. — from Bluefield State?

21 A. Yes. Yes.

22 Q. And did you have any other formal

23 training in nursing?

24 A. In terms of college?

25 Q. Critical care or —


1 A. Oh, yes. I was an instructor, advanced

2 cardiac life support. Gosh, that was in the eighties.

3 I was an instructor in that. Taught paramedics,

4 physicians, and nurses. That was a good fit for me.

5 I worked in the field as a nurse paramedic.

6 Q. Go back to page 2, if you would.

7 A. Okay.

8 Q. And this is your employment history?

9 A. Uh-huh.

10 Q. When you worked at Princeton University

11 Hospital in West Virginia for about a year, what type

12 of nursing was that?

13 A. I was a charge nurse on a —

14 Q. Any particular unit?

15 A. Med surg.

16 Q. A what?

17 A. Medical surgery unit.

18 Q. And then at Raleigh General?

19 A. Raleigh General.

20 Q. What was the nature of the nursing?

21 A. Charge nurse in the emergency

22 department.

23 Q. How about at Baptist '80, '82?

24 A. '80 to '82 I worked in the emergency

25 department there as an RN. Occasional charge nurse


1 duty. We rotated. In '82, '84 I was a flight

2 nurse/paramedic on a helicopter.

3 Q. '82 to '84?

4 A. Uh-huh, right. That's included under

5 Baptist Hospital. If you look at that, Baptist

6 Hospital is included.

7 Q. I'm with you. Okay.

8 A. Okay.

9 Q. On a helicopter?

10 A. Right.

11 Q. And then it says “ED RN.” Is that

12 emergency department?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And that's critical care, right?

15 A. Yes, very much so.

16 Q. And then Jackson Hospital, again

17 that's —

18 A. Right.

19 Q. — emergency department?

20 A. Right.

21 Q.

22 A. That was my husband.

23 Q. You worked for him. He’s a physician,

24 correct?

25 A. Yes. He was. I don’t know if he is now


1 or not.

2 Q. What was the nature of your duties with

3 him?

4 A. I was in charge of his office, and he

5 had a Medifast diet program that he ran and a Holter

6 monitor program, which is the Holter monitor that you

7 actually put on a patient. They wear it for 24 hours

8 and bring it back. Back in the old days you had to

9 manually read it, and that’s what I did.

10 Q. And then at Baptist ’88, ’89, you worked

11 on the IV team?

12 A. Right.

13 Q. And then you were a travel nurse for Sun

14 City Community?

15 A. Right, yes. I worked down in — gosh,

16 it’s Sun City, Florida.

17 Q. What type of units did you work —

18 A. That was primarily med surg. Sometimes

19 I would float to the ICU. It was primarily med surg.

20 It was my first travel nurse job.

21 Q. And then you were a travel nurse at

22 Brooksville Hospital?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. What type of unit?

25 A. That was a telemetry unit, which is a


1 step-down unit from cardiac ICU.

2 Q. Then you worked as a travel nurse at New

3 Port Richey Hospital?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And you were in surgical ICU; is that

6 correct?

7 A. Yes, surgical ICU.

8 Q. Then West Florida Hospital, again ICU,

9 right?

10 A. Right. I started working with an

11 agency. Actually, I went into real estate then.

12 Q. Why did you go into real estate?

13 A. The reason — I started working with the

14 agency in 1995 with Doug Terrell with Critical

15 Difference, and in 1996 I decided I needed a break

16 from nursing and became a real estate agent. Only did

17 that for a year. Had the cancer, first episode of

18 cancer, during that time. I missed nursing and went

19 back to it. Through the agency I did a lot of

20 different things for several years with that.

21 Q. At Critical Difference?

22 A. Uh-huh.

23 Q. What types of things — here you list

24 the positions: ICU, CCU — that’s critical care unit?

25 A. Right.


1 Q. Neuro ICU and industrial nursing?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. What is industrial nursing?

4 A. I worked up at the Champion Paper plant

5 as the only nurse there, multiple times, multiple

6 assignments up there, and then I got sick.

7 Q. And then at West Florida, you — it says

8 “IV RN interventional radiological”?

9 A. That was just one of the things — where

10 is that? That’s — when I went back to work, I worked

11 at WFCCC, West Florida Community Care Center. It was

12 through Lakeview. And IV RN interventional radiology,

13 that was Sacred Heart Hospital. That’s on Davis

14 Highway. It’s just some of things that I did when I

15 was with Nurses on Call. That was my first job after

16 I came back to nursing.

17 Q. Okay. At West Florida Community Care

18 Center you were a charge nurse and a treatment team

19 leader?

20 A. I was a charge nurse treatment team

21 leader — member. Not leader. Member. Oh, gosh.

22 When I was with the agency, I floated to different

23 units, and then I was asked to go full time. After

24 about a year, I think it was — maybe a little

25 longer — I was asked to go full time on the west


1 unit, and shortly after that is when the cancer was

2 discovered.

3 Q. And the first time you worked on an

4 acute stabilization unit was when you began working

5 for Lakeview; is that right?

6 A. I was actually still working with Nurses

7 on Call.

8 Q. Okay. But assigned to Lakeview?

9 A. Right, assigned to Lakeview. That was

10 full time when I was needed, and I was there — oh,

11 let’s see — several months, and they asked me to go

12 full time. I don’t know if they bought out my

13 contract or what. The agency was not very happy.

14 Q. What is an acute stabilization unit?

15 A. Okay. I can tell you what it was. I

16 don’t know what it is now. I understand there have

17 been a lot of changes. It’s an out — it’s basically

18 just what it says. A lot of the patients that we get

19 are directly from the street brought in by the police

20 department. They are patients who are under Baker

21 Act, patients in psychological crisis, patients who

22 need detox, patients who are actively intoxicated with

23 who knows what. And the patients that were there —

24 it was supposed to be a short-term unit, and usually

25 it was. But we had an admission center and a


1 treatment center, max of 30 patients. It was like a

2 psychiatric emergency department is what it was like.

3 Q. Do you have any psychiatric training?

4 A. Psychiatric training?

5 Q. Yes.

6 A. The only training that I have for

7 psych — I know that I made one of the highest scores

8 in the state on my nursing exam. That was in ’78. In

9 nursing school they address that quite a bit, but in

10 terms —

11 Q. Since nursing school —

12 A. Since nursing school other than what

13 I’ve done in terms of CEUs and the classes that are

14 offered at Lakeview such as the CPI class, things like

15 that, yes, that’s it.

16 Q. So —

17 A. No official college courses related to

18 it, and I was taught — when I first went there, I had

19 a really strong supervisor who taught me quite a bit.

20 She died —

21 Q. Who —

22 A. ASU.

23 Q. Who is that that died?

24 A. Bobbie. Her name was Bobbie. I’m

25 blanking on her last name. Bobbie. She died of


1 cancer while I was working there.

2 Q. And she trained you working around

3 psychiatric patients?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. But before coming to the ASU at

6 Lakeview, you had no training whatsoever?

7 A. No.

8 Q. Other than in nursing school?

9 A. No. I worked over at West Florida

10 Community Care Center, and it is a state mental

11 hospital, and I was there for almost two years.

12 Q. That was managed by Lakeview?

13 A. Managed by Lakeview.

14 Q. Okay. I —

15 A. Yes. I had quite an exposure then

16 before —

17 Q. Was that your —

18 A. They had a Baker Act unit as well.

19 THE REPORTER: One at a time.

20 Q. (By Mr. Umbach) The first time you were

21 caring for psychiatric patients was at this —

22 A. West Florida —

23 Q. — West Florida —

24 A. — Community Care Center.

25 Other than when I was with the agency I


1 did work at the Pavilion, which is West Florida, but

2 that was one or two times.

3 Q. What was the Pavilion? I’ve seen

4 that —

5 A. It’s behavioral medicine, psychiatric.

6 Q. Operated by whom?

7 A. West Florida Hospital.

8 Q. And it’s located where?

9 A. Pensacola.

10 Q. And you worked there how long?

11 A. Only once or twice through the agency.

12 Q. Like one or two days?

13 A. Days. One or two shifts. In your

14 agency you just go where they tell you to go, wherever

15 it is. But as far as training, no college training.

16 Q. I’m with you. So you mentioned CPI.

17 What is that?

18 A. It’s crisis presentation and

19 intervention.

20 Q. And this is some training that you had?

21 A. Yes. Multiple times.

22 Q. Crisis prevention and intervention?

23 A. Yes. Multiple times.

24 Q. Multiple times at Lakeview.

25 A. Starting at WFCCC, West Florida


1 Community Care Center.

2 Q. And when you say “multiple times,” are

3 we talking about an annual basis, are we talking

4 about — what?

5 A. When I left — for a while it was every

6 two years. I don’t know now whether it’s every year,

7 but during the time that I worked there, I had —

8 probably five or six times. I can’t be certain, but

9 multiple times.

10 Q. Every one to two years; is that fair to

11 say?

12 A. Yes, I think that would be fair.

13 Q. From the time you worked for West

14 Florida Community Care —

15 A. Community Care.

16 Q. — through your time at Lakeview?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And what is the nature of the training,

19 crisis prevention and intervention?

20 A. The nature of the training is to help

21 staff learn how to intervene and deescalate a patient,

22 verbally if they are upset or anything like that, to

23 help deescalate the patient. They used to go into the

24 different holds, such as if the patient is behind you

25 and they grab you, they teach you how to get out of


1 the hold. The emphasis when I left was not on that so

2 much anymore as it was on the verbal deescalation, and

3 that was just the change I noticed over the years.

4 Q. So it involved how to restrain a

5 patient —

6 A. No.

7 Q. No?

8 A. No.

9 Q. So when you said “hold,” it is how to

10 get out of a hold?

11 A. How to get out of the hold. If a

12 patient has — has you by the hair, pulling your hair,

13 how to get out of that hold. If a patient has you

14 around the neck, how to get out of that, if you can.

15 Various other techniques. But they were not practiced

16 routinely. Maybe once or twice a year.

17 Q. Did it cover how to recognize a

18 potentially violent patient?

19 A. I think we all know — well, I know the

20 triggers, certainly, and the signs of potential

21 violence, yes. Yes.

22 Q. Is that something that’s included in the

23 CPI training?

24 A. No.

25 Q. But that’s something you knew?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Have you ever taught CPI?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Do you remember who at Lakeview taught

5 it to you?

6 A. Oh, goodness. I can’t remember. I

7 can’t remember the names. They worked in the

8 education department.

9 Q. Do you think the CPI training that you

10 had was adequate?

11 A. No.

12 Q. No?

13 A. No. Not for what we encountered, no.

14 Q. What do you mean by that?

15 A. Other types of patients that we

16 encountered, the verbal deescalation portion was good,

17 but there were times when you cannot, no matter how

18 you try, deescalate a patient verbally. Those things

19 do happen, and there was no training in how — very

20 minimal training in how to deal with that when it does

21 happened.

22 Q. When the verbal doesn’t work?

23 A. Right.

24 Q. So what type of training would you have

25 wanted?


1 A. Training-wise?

2 Q. Yeah.

3 A. The holds and things that we were

4 initially taught back when I took the course at West

5 Florida Community Care Center was very intense, and

6 now — at least the last time I had it, it wasn’t.

7 Those are the things that you need to know to get away

8 from a patient. I’ve had knives pulled on me twice.

9 Things that you need to know to get away in situations

10 like that.

11 Q. Where were the knives pulled on you?

12 Where you were working?

13 A. ASU, in the admissions unit, the

14 admissions portion, at the front door.

15 Q. What did you do?

16 A. What did I do? Well, I had two guys

17 with me, so I yelled “knife” and ran, and they took

18 care of him. The second time I saw the guy with the

19 knife, had the knife, a hook knife, down by his side,

20 and basically I did the same thing — if I had been by

21 myself, I would have tried to — I would have had no

22 choice but to run. You’re not going to stop and try

23 to verbally deescalate somebody when they’ve got a

24 knife on you.

25 Q. What were you supposed to do if the


1 verbal deescalation techniques did not work?

2 A. Call law enforcement. We didn’t have

3 any security. One little security officer — he was

4 about 75 — and he had to — was responsible for the

5 entire place, and he wasn’t allowed to intervene

6 anyway.

7 Q. Did you ever ask for any training at ASU

8 that you did not get?

9 A. Training, no. No. I don’t think this

10 is a training issue. It’s an issue of security, and

11 it’s an issue of staffing and training staff. This is

12 not a training issue. When you’re told —

13 Dr. Josephs’ told us — told one of my staff one time

14 that the only thing you can do sometimes is bob and

15 weave, so we had to call law enforcement.

16 Q. Well, I asked you earlier if the CPI

17 training was adequate and you said no.

18 A. No. No.

19 Q. But —

20 A. Adequate for what? Adequate to protect

21 whom? Staff, patients? What do you mean?

22 Q. I see what you mean. Let me ask it this

23 way: Is there any training that you feel like

24 Lakeview should have given you that they didn’t?

25 A. Training, I don’t know because the issue


1 of the need for security, staffing, and additional

2 training in situations like that was just simply not

3 addressed. CPI covers it, I’m sure, but it’s not

4 adequate, not for what we did. So as far as any

5 additional training that I needed, no, not really.

6 Q. Have — the issues for you, you said,

7 were security and staffing?

8 A. Security is a big issue, and staffing.

9 As far as needing additional training, I don’t know

10 that there is any training that can prepare you for

11 those things other than working through scenarios,

12 things like that.

13 Q. Let’s go — let’s try to finish up your

14 job search back on page 6 of these answers to

15 interrogatories.

16 A. Okay.

17 Q. It says on July 9th of ’13, Baptist?

18 A. Uh-huh. Yeah.

19 Q. Did you apply for a job on July 9th —

20 A. There were no jobs available.

21 Q. Did you apply for a job —

22 A. No.

23 Q. Wait. Let me finish the question.

24 A. Okay.

25 Q. Did you apply for a job with Baptist on


1 July 9th?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Then what does this mean? You looked

4 first —

5 A. What this means is I looked online to

6 see if they had any positions available that would be

7 suitable for me that were full time, and that is what

8 this means.

9 Q. And then on July 10, 2013, it says,

10 “Onward Healthcare, travel; Medical Staffing Network;

11 Cross Country/Trav. Corps; Sacred Heart.” What does

12 that mean?

13 A. That means I checked with all of these

14 travel companies to see if they had any psychiatric

15 nurse positions available. There are none. Very

16 difficult to find national psychiatric travel nurse

17 positions. I checked with Sacred Heart Medical Group.

18 I thought perhaps working in an office like that might

19 be an option. There were no positions available.

20 Q. So again on July 10, what this entry

21 means is that you checked online?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. To see if there were any psychiatric

24 nurse positions available?

25 A. Yes.


1 Q. With these entities?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. On July 10th?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And were you limiting your search to

6 psychiatric nurse positions?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Why?

9 A. That’s something that I feel comfortable

10 with, it’s something I know. Like I said, emergency

11 nursing and CCU nursing are not something that I feel

12 like I can do right now, and —

13 Q. You didn’t feel like you could do that

14 in 2013?

15 A. No.

16 Q. What about working on the surgical unit?

17 A. No.

18 Q. Why?

19 A. They are on their feet all day, 12-hour

20 shifts. On their feet all day, and I’ve done it, and

21 that’s the big thing, being on your feet all day long,

22 and a lot of nursing positions, that’s the way they

23 are. Particularly critical care flooring nursing.

24 That’s why I was thinking perhaps Sacred Heart Medical

25 Group, a little office where I might not be on the


1 floor all day. I do have medical issues.

2 Q. I understand. And were you not required

3 to be on your feet all day at ASU?

4 A. No.

5 Q. You were not?

6 A. No. No.

7 Q. So any nursing position that would

8 require you to be on your feet the better part of the

9 day you were not interested in?

10 A. I couldn’t do it.

11 Q. And what —

12 A. I didn’t think I could do it.

13 Q. Do you have — did you have any sort of

14 doctor limitations saying you shouldn’t be on your

15 feet X number of hours?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Did you have some personal limitation in

18 your mind of what the maximum time you could be on

19 your feet was?

20 A. Eight-hour shifts would be nice. I

21 might be able to do that, but unfortunately today

22 12-hour shifts are the routine, which is why I

23 checked, like I said, Sacred Heart Medical Group and

24 physician’s offices. It’s not a 12-hour that usually

25 turns into 13 or 14 hours like the majority of nursing


1 positions these days.

2 So no. I was looking for psychiatric

3 nursing. I considered home health. They didn’t have

4 any positions. That’s something that I felt like I

5 could do. No positions. The jail is something I felt

6 like I could do, but they had no positions at the

7 jail.

8 Q. And so the list here, you’ve told me at

9 least for the first two entries in July that you did

10 not apply for any of those — any positions because

11 you checked and there were not any —

12 A. Right.

13 Q. — psychiatric nurse positions?

14 A. Full time suitable for me, right.

15 Q. Were you only looking for full-time

16 positions?

17 A. Yes. I needed benefits.

18 Q. Okay.

19 A. You don’t get benefits with part time or

20 prn.

21 Q. Now, is the same true for the rest of

22 these entries —

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Let me finish.

25 A. I’m sorry.


1 Q. We need to be mindful that we’ve got to

2 take all of this down.

3 So you did not apply for any jobs in

4 this six-month period?

5 A. There were no jobs to apply for.

6 Q. So the answer to my question, it would

7 be correct?

8 A. Correct.

9 Q. You did not apply for any.

10 And in this six-month period you’re

11 looking for psychiatric nurse positions full time?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Are any home-health positions in here?

14 A. Home health, there were no home-health

15 positions. I checked with senior home care —

16 Q. Is that listed in here?

17 A. Yes. Yes. I needed benefits.

18 Q. I’m with you.

19 A. That was the big issue.

20 Q. Were you limiting your search to any

21 particular geographic area?

22 A. Initially in Pensacola, and after that I

23 was checking with travel nurse positions to see if

24 there was anything maybe in New Orleans where I could

25 at least come home every weekend or every other


1 weekend.

2 Q. You looked in Pensacola or New Orleans?

3 A. I looked all over the country basically.

4 Q. You did?

5 A. Yes. It’s very hard to find a

6 psychiatric nursing position with benefits, and that

7 is what I needed.

8 Q. I understand. Are there any entities

9 listed here that are outside of Pensacola?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Which ones?

12 A. Oh, goodness. None of the travel

13 nursing positions are in Pensacola. Premier

14 Healthcare, Gentiva they didn’t have anything.

15 Q. That’s a home-health company, right?

16 A. Uh-huh. Nurses RX is travel. Sacred

17 Heart had nothing. Lakeview, I know they weren’t

18 going to hire me back. They are all —

19 Q. Whoa, whoa, whoa.

20 A. I’m sorry.

21 Q. Why did you know that?

22 A. I was terminated.

23 Q. You said you knew they wouldn’t hire you

24 back?

25 A. Once you’re terminated, it’s tough to


1 get —

2 Q. Did anyone at Lakeview tell you you

3 couldn’t be hired back?

4 A. No.

5 Q. So —

6 A. But I was terminated.

7 Q. I understand that, but — so you assumed

8 that they wouldn’t hire you back?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. I see that this list ends December 2013.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And you got your job with the last

13 company you worked for in June of ’14?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. So there is six months there. What did

16 you do in that time period?

17 A. I was still looking for jobs during that

18 time period. I actually grew some plants in my

19 greenhouse. We had yard sales. We sold my plants.

20 Q. Let’s talk about work.

21 A. That was work.

22 Q. But employment.

23 A. Employment otherwise?

24 Q. Yeah. Were you looking for employment

25 as a nurse between December of ’13 and June of ’14?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. What did you do to look for a job?

3 A. Basically the same thing that I had done

4 before, and finding jobs, usually you could find any

5 job listing online with different companies and things

6 like that. I subscribe to They have

7 nursing jobs. They advertise.

8 Q. And why were your efforts not listed

9 here between December and June?

10 A. These are the efforts — the reason

11 they’re not listed, the unemployment ended in December

12 of 2013, and it ended because — it ended for

13 everybody in Florida, and before that, you had to keep

14 a record of every place you checked for a position,

15 and after that it was like — I mean…

16 Q. Well, then tell me, what jobs did you

17 look for in that six-month period?

18 A. I was looking for, like I said, a

19 nursing position where I wouldn’t have to be on my

20 feet all day, with benefits, and preferably eight-hour

21 shifts. That’s what I was looking for. I never found

22 it.

23 Q. Can you name any entities that —

24 A. Like I said, I checked Sacred Heart

25 Medical Group. I checked there multiple times. I


1 even checked my doctor’s office listings there.

2 Anywhere. But I would have been on my feet there.

3 Gosh. Some of these entities that I

4 have listed — I mean, it was a continual search.

5 Continual. It was a rough time. If I could have

6 gotten something, I would have.

7 Q. In the time between when you left

8 Lakeview and when you got a job with Gulf Breeze, did

9 you apply for any jobs?

10 A. No, because there were no jobs listed

11 anywhere that fit the parameters that I needed.

12 Q. And again, the parameters were?

13 A. Full-time benefits.

14 Q. Full-time benefits, not on your feet

15 more than eight hours, right?

16 A. Right.

17 Q. Did you consider part-time positions at

18 any time?

19 A. I did accept a part-time position at

20 Gulf Breeze.

21 Q. And I think that company came to you?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Did you ever look for a part-time

24 position?

25 A. Part time, I checked to see if there


1 were — psych and what I do, locally, yes, I did look

2 for part-time positions, but locally most of it is —

3 the Friary, all of those are owned and managed by

4 Lakeview or Baptist. I checked at the Pavilion

5 frequently, and they had positions for — they didn’t

6 have any nursing positions at all during that time

7 that I was looking, that I could find.

8 Q. And so you had about a period of — let

9 me ask this question: I assume — did you turn down

10 any jobs?

11 A. No.

12 Q. How did you spend your time in that

13 one-year period?

14 A. Okay. In that one-year period I

15 actually have a greenhouse in a backyard, and I grew

16 plants with the intention of selling plants to make

17 some money in the spring, and I had a couple of sales.

18 We didn’t make very much. And then I was called about

19 the job, so I was working very hard at home to find a

20 way to make money myself. I was turning my hobby into

21 a business.

22 Q. Did you ever — you had health insurance

23 with Lakeview?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Did you get health insurance at any time


1 after you left?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Do you have it today?

4 A. Today I do. I have it through the

5 exchange, healthcare exchange.

6 Q. Since Obamacare went into place?

7 A. I have it now. I may not have it much

8 longer. I have it right now.

9 Q. Why would you not have it?

10 A. It’s expensive. It wasn’t expensive

11 last year in Florida, but it is now.

12 Q. And so you got that when?

13 A. The first time I got it was January of

14 2014, and then I renewed it in January of 2015 — in

15 December of 2014.

16 Q. Did your husband — was he covered on

17 the Lakeview health plan?

18 A. No. He has VA.

19 Q. Okay. And he still has it?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Is there an opportunity for you to be

22 covered under the VA as a spouse?

23 A. No. We have checked. No.

24 Q. Did you apply for any disability

25 benefits after you left?


1 A. No.

2 MR. UMBACH: Why don’t we take a break?

3 We’ve been going about an hour and a half.

4 (Break in proceedings.)

5 Q. (By Mr. Umbach) When you worked in the

6 ASU for Lakeview, what — how many hour shifts did you

7 work?

8 A. When I initially started, it was

9 eight-hour shifts, and I worked eight-hour shifts at

10 the Meridian. They changed to 12-hour shifts

11 unfortunately at ASU, so —

12 Q. When?

13 A. When? Probably about two and a half,

14 three years before that. I was working through the

15 staffing.

16 Q. So the last —

17 A. Lakeview staffing.

18 Q. So the last two and a half years or so

19 in the ASU, you were working 12-hour shifts?

20 A. I was working full time for little over

21 a year before I was terminated. Before that I was

22 working through their staffing agency, and I was

23 working primarily at the Meridian eight-hour shifts,

24 and some eight-hour shifts there at ASU that happened

25 to need an assessment nurse to come in and do all


1 their admissions, I would come in and work until I was

2 finished and go home. But no, I was not routinely

3 working 12-hour shifts until I went full time

4 approximately — went full time March 2, 2013. I

5 transitioned from Behavioral Health Staffing Services

6 to ASU full time.

7 Q. It would have been March ’13, right?

8 A. Yeah. It was ’12. Sorry. I apologize.

9 Q. So March of ’12, roughly one year before

10 your termination, you started working full time?

11 A. Uh-huh.

12 Q. Right?

13 A. (Nods head.)

14 Q. “Yes”?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Is that when you started working 12-hour

17 shifts?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And prior to that time, it was eight

20 hours a shift and part time, correct?

21 A. Eight-hour shifts, yes. As far as part

22 time, I was full time in 2006 until my mother got ill

23 in 2007, and I went with the Behavioral Health

24 Staffing Services then, the prn. I didn’t have any

25 benefits then, but then I had a full-time position in


1 March of 2012.

2 Q. And so you working 12-hour shifts how

3 many hours a week?

4 A. Thirty-six but — plus.

5 Q. Thirty-six plus?

6 A. Uh-huh.

7 Q. So what did it average?

8 A. Probably 39.

9 Q. And I know you were working on the

10 nightshift when you were terminated?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And how long had you been on the

13 nightshift? Is that the whole time you were full

14 time?

15 A. Yes. And I’d been on the nightshift the

16 majority of the time that I worked at ASU. I worked a

17 few day shifts here and then, but — when they needed

18 me, but primarily night shifts, yes.

19 Q. Were you ever regularly assigned to a

20 shift other than the nightshift at ASU?

21 A. No.

22 Q. And the nightshift, was that 7 p.m. to

23 7 a.m.?

24 A. (Nods head.)

25 Q. You’re nodding your head “yes”?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Focusing on the time that you were full

3 time in the ASU working the nightshift 12-hour shifts,

4 if you weren’t on your feet, what were you doing?

5 A. Sometimes I would do admissions in the

6 back. You sit at a desk and you admit people, and you

7 are not up walking around. If you do have to get up,

8 it’s to check on a client or something like that.

9 Then you go back. The charge nurse sits at a desk in

10 ASU. There is a desk right there (indicating), and

11 usually the charge nurse stays at that desk, or if

12 necessary, as it was in my case, at the desk in the

13 back during the admission process. We had techs who

14 did the checking every 15 minutes on clients.

15 Q. So if you weren’t — how much time would

16 you say in a 12-hour shift you’d be on your feet

17 versus sitting down?

18 A. A couple of hours, two hours. Maybe

19 three at the most.

20 Q. On your feet?

21 A. Uh-huh. Walking.

22 Q. What would a — now, a charge nurse, as

23 I understand it, is the nurse that’s in charge of the

24 unit; is that right?

25 A. Yes.


1 Q. And you were serving in that role at the

2 time of your termination?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And what would a charge nurse do sitting

5 at a desk?

6 A. Usually you’re looking at charts, you’re

7 reviewing the orders and making certain all the orders

8 have been taken off. May need to research if someone

9 comes in with a particular medical illness. You may

10 need to research that online. Documenting the new

11 admissions. Documenting anything that you see. A lot

12 of documentation. If someone is put in a restraint,

13 that automatically right there is an hour probably at

14 a desk.

15 Oh, goodness. Listen to the techs,

16 interact with the techs, interact with the patients

17 when they come up because they always know where the

18 charge nurse is. I have a habit of getting up and

19 talking with them, but anyway, there was just a lot to

20 do, and if you’re doing that plus admissions in the

21 back, then a lot. You don’t just sit.

22 Q. At what point did you decide that you

23 could not be on your feet more than eight hours a day?

24 A. I was told in 2000 that I would never be

25 able to work again because of my illness. I knew when


1 I went back to work I would need to do something where

2 I would not have to do like I did in critical care —

3 lifting, pulling, all of that — and I got the

4 position at West Florida Community Care Center, and it

5 worked perfectly for me.

6 But at what point I decided? I don’t

7 know there was a specific point where I decided that,

8 but I do know that I prefer eight-hour shifts in terms

9 of — physically for me and in terms of mentally,

10 12-hours shift in a unit like that is difficult. You

11 have to love what you do to be able to do it and do it

12 successfully.

13 I would have preferred we had eight

14 hours, but we were outvoted, so I wouldn’t say there

15 was a specific day that I decided that. Okay?

16 Q. Did you ever tell anyone at Lakeview

17 that you had any limitation on how long you could

18 stand?

19 A. No. I only asked for one accommodation.

20 Q. That had to do with typing?

21 A. Right. I was told by my supervisor,

22 Terry Sutek, in a conference that I was no longer to

23 type my notes. I’m a very good typist, very fast. I

24 was to handwrite everything from that point on, and I

25 talked with my physician about it and did receive a


1 physician’s note, which I gave to Elizabeth Kitchens,

2 and that’s because of arthritis — I mean, it’s hard

3 enough to write. I can type though.

4 Q. Let’s look at page 8 of this exhibit in

5 front of you. Towards the top first full paragraph it

6 starts “Dr. Josephs,” and it mentions occasional

7 verbal commendations?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And one written commendation. I guess

10 that’s from Dr. Joseph.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Did you get a written one from him?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Is that something that you’d given to

15 your lawyer?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. What did it say?

18 A. I haven’t reviewed it, but it was a

19 little note, and it said “thank you,” and I opened it

20 up, and it said, “Thank you” — something. “Thank you

21 for your high quality care and assessment of a

22 patient.” It was a patient that was sent to us from

23 Sacred Heart Hospital who had not been adequately

24 medically cleared, in my opinion, and the patient

25 needed to be sent back. I disagree with —


1 Q. I can read it.

2 A. Yeah.

3 Q. What verbal commendations did he give

4 you?

5 A. Oh, gosh. Usually off the cuff.

6 Q. Do you remember any?

7 A. I know one time he asked me — what was

8 he asking me to work on — I can’t recall.

9 Q. If you remember specifically what he

10 said, I want you to tell me. Go ahead.

11 A. I’m trying to remember specifically what

12 he said about what it was he wanted me to work on.

13 Not about me but something on the unit. He said, “You

14 do a really good job with that and” — I’m sorry —

15 but I can’t recall what it was, and it was an

16 off-the-cuff comment made.

17 Q. Fair enough. If you remember

18 specifically what he said that you’re referring to as

19 a verbal commendation, I want to hear it now. Do you

20 remember —

21 A. I don’t remember precisely. I don’t

22 know.

23 Q. There is a reference to you being

24 depressed after your termination. Had you ever

25 experienced depression before being terminated from


1 Lakeview?

2 A. Yes, I have, but not since 2000, and I

3 wasn’t depressed — I was depressed after I was put on

4 probation.

5 Q. In 2000 that was around the time when

6 you had the health issues?

7 A. Yes. When I was told I would never work

8 again.

9 Q. Were you treated for depression in 2000?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Was that by this doctor that you’d seen

12 for a long time?

13 A. She — no. I started seeing her in

14 2002. That was by — God —

15 THE WITNESS: Can we take a break?

16 MR. CONNORS: Well, I think there is a

17 question on the table. You need to answer it.

18 A. I’m trying to remember. Dr. — I know

19 Dr. Howard initially treated me for depression, and

20 then I started seeing Dr. — this doctor in 2002 that

21 I see now. Dr. Calnaido. That’s who it was.

22 Q. Spell that.

23 A. C-A-L-N-A-I-D-O.

24 Q. And that’s the doctor that treated you

25 for depression in 2000?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Male or female?

3 A. Male.

4 Q. Do you know the first name?

5 A. No, I don’t.

6 Q. Do you know where he was when you saw

7 him?

8 A. Yes, he was at Lakeview. I saw him at

9 Lakeview.

10 Q. And how did he treat you for depression

11 in 2000?

12 A. With antidepressants.

13 Q. Any other way?

14 A. Anticonvulsant called Neurontin, which

15 was a precursor for Lyrica.

16 Q. Any other way that you were treated in

17 2000 for depression?

18 A. I was hospitalized.

19 Q. Where?

20 A. At ASU.

21 Q. ASU, where you worked?

22 A. Yes.

23 <Personal info redacted.)


1 Q. And were you in the hospital at ASU for

2 depression?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Admitted by Dr. Calnaido?

5 A. Admitted by — I cannot remember his

6 name. Shams. Shams. Dr. Shams, I think.

7 Q. Where was Shams located?

8 A. He was at ASU at the time.

9 Q. At ASU?

10 A. Uh-huh. Dr. Calnaido was the one I saw

11 when I went to Lakeview for follow-up afterwards.

12 Q. So you went to ASU and then followed up

13 with Calnaido?

14 A. Uh-huh.

15 Q. Did someone refer you to ASU, or did you

16 go on your own?

17 A. I went on my own. A lot of that from

18 that time is, frankly, very blurry. I was pretty ill.

19 Being told you can never work again is…

20 Q. Again, you understand why I'm asking?

21 A. Absolutely. Dr. Josephs was a

22 psychologist at ASU when I was there.

23 Q. Did he treat you?

24 A. He did. I talked with him several

25 times, and he gave me a psychosocial test, but that


1 was all.

2 Q. Had you been treated for depression

3 prior to 2000 in your life?

4 A. In 1989. I got sober in 1988. Coming

5 up on 26 years in June. And about a year after I got

6 sober, Dr. Howard treated me for depression, but it

7 was not a major depressive episode like in 2000. It

8 was just mild clinical depression. That's all I ever

9 had until 2000.

10 Q. And what's Dr. Howard's first name?

11 A. I don't remember. He's retired. I know

12 that.

13 Q. And he was at Lakeview?

14 A. No, no. He was in the office. He

15 was — he was an M.D., primary care. I switched from

16 him to Dr. — the doctor here in town. Dr. Howard is

17 way down in Navarre. Was.

18 Q. “Navarre,” you said?

19 A. Yeah.

20 Q. Okay. You said you became sober in '88?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And tell me what you mean by that.

23 A. I stopped drinking.

24 Q. Did you —

25 A. I considered myself a recovered


1 alcoholic.

2 Q. Did you seek any treatment for

3 alcoholism?

4 A. For alcoholism I went to —

5 self-admitted to the Friary in 1988. I did.

6 Q. Where is that?

7 A. That's in Navarre.

8 Q. That's in Navarre?

9 A. No. That's in — it's not quite down to

10 Navarre. It's Gulf Breeze, Florida.

11 Q. Friary? F-R —

12 A. It's F-R-I-A-R-Y, and it's run and

13 operated by Lakeview Center.

14 Q. Was that an inpatient —

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. How long were you there?

17 A. Five weeks.

18 Q. Okay. And the substance you were

19 becoming sober from was alcohol?

20 A. Alcohol.

21 Q. Anything else?

22 A. No. Alcohol. That's when I was with

23 the doctor. It might have been an opiate too. I'm

24 not even sure.

25 Q. Dr. —


1 A. That’s when I was married to

2 him.

3 Q. So there may be — may have been a

4 substance besides alcohol?

5 A. Yeah, but not anything like cocaine or

6 anything like that. It would have been opiates if

7 anything. But it was alcohol. That was the big one.

8 Q. How long had you been an alcoholic,

9 would you say?

10 A. I would say probably from the time I

11 first started drinking when I was 17. I don’t think

12 there is any dividing line when you can say I’m not an

13 alcoholic or now I am an alcoholic. I know it became

14 a problem for me in about 1985, is when it became a

15 problem.

16 Q. And how did Dr. Howard treat you for

17 mild clinical depression around 1989?

18 A. If I recall, it was imipramine. It’s an

19 antidepressant. That’s all. And it worked.

20 Q. Are you on an antidepressant now?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And have you been on an antidepressant

23 since 2000?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And how long have you been on an


1 antidepressant?

2 A. Since 1989.

3 Q. Different ones over that period of time?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Different dosages over that period of

6 time?

7 A. Different ones, not different dosages

8 really. No, that’s pretty much the same. Been stable

9 on one for about six years. I’ve had no problems

10 since 2000, 2001.

11 Q. And so you’ve been basically on the same

12 antidepressant at the same level for about six years?

13 A. Yes. It used to be called — there’s

14 one that’s called Lexapro and one that’s called

15 citalopram. Citalopram is basically the generic

16 version of Lexapro, so I went back to citalopram when

17 I couldn’t afford it, but it’s basically the same

18 thing, but it works well for me.

19 Q. Where — what pharmacy do you use?

20 A. I use — I had to switch to because

21 of insurance,

22 Q. Since when?

23 A. Since about a month ago. Two months, my

24 insurance.

25 Q. Which do you use?


1 A.

2 Q. Here in Pensacola?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And prior to , where did you go?

5 A. Walgreen’s for years. I only switched

6 because of the insurance.

7 Q. Walgreen’s going back through the time

8 you worked at Lakeview?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Which Walgreen’s?

11 A.

13 Q. Here in Pensacola?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. I see on page 9 of these answers there

16 is a reference to a paper-shredder issue.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. What was that? And I don’t need the

19 chapter and verse, but when was it —

20 A. That was in — sometime in mid-January

21 in 2013 we switched from keeping the valuables in the

22 nursing — in the medication room to keeping them in a

23 paper — in a safe. They decided to put them in a

24 paper shredder in a room that is accessible to all

25 staff with a small lock on it.


1 Q. Is this referring to the time you were

2 written up for leaving a safe open?

3 A. Sophie and I both.

4 Q. That’s the paper-shredder issue?

5 A. Right. That’s the paper-shredder issue,

6 right. We — Terry told me — four days after that

7 happened, Terry called me —

8 Q. You can tell me that if you want, but

9 I’m not asking for that.

10 A. All right.

11 Q. And I want to speed this along here.

12 A. She just told me she didn’t want to

13 write —

14 Q. We’ve got a ways to go.

15 A. She told me she did not want to write it

16 up. She was forced to write it up by Dr. Josephs.

17 Q. You did want to tell me that.

18 A. Yes, I did.

19 Q. Look at page 9, about three-quarters of

20 the way down. I’m looking in the second paragraph

21 from the bottom.

22 A. Uh-huh.

23 Q. About the middle of that where it says,

24 “I know I was discriminated against”?

25 A. I can hardly read it.


1 Q. It’s got the reference —

2 A. Probably it should have read —

3 Q. Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

4 Do you see where it says, “I know I was

5 discriminated against”?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Let me ask you a question. It says, “I

8 know I was discriminated against regarding minor

9 documentation issues that other staff members were

10 allowed to correct without disciplinary action.” And

11 you mentioned a

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. What is your basis for saying that

15 “other staff members were allowed to correct

16 documentation issues without disciplinary action”?

17 A. Okay. We have a person who audited

18 charts,
19 Q. Let me —

20 A. I need to —

21 Q. I know you need to explain, and I’m

22 going to let you. Okay? But what I’m looking for is

23 what did you see or what did you hear that is the

24 basis of this statement?

25 A. What I saw is three stacks of charts


1 about this high (indicating), routine procedure, that

2 would be tagged with a name on it to go back and sign

3 or fix or whatever it was, and this was routine.

4 You’d go in on your shift, you check these charts just

5 like doctors do, and I know that there were other

6 people who made errors similar to the ones that I

7 made.

8 Q. How do you know that?

9 A. I read. I could read them. You can

10 look at them.

11 Q. So there are charts stacked there with

12 tabs on them?

13 A. Right.

14 Q. And so that told you that —

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Wait a minute.

17 That there were things that needed to be

18 corrected, right?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And did you go look and see what others

21 were supposed to correct?

22 A. Sometimes.

23 Q. You did?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And it says that these others were not


1 disciplined for their documentation errors.

2 A. I —

3 Q. Wait a minute. I haven’t asked you a

4 question.

5 How do you know that other nurses were

6 not disciplined for documentation errors?

7 A. I did not hear it, I did not see it. No

8 other nurses were put on probation that I am aware of.

9 Q. So it’s possible that a nurse was

10 disciplined and written up and you didn’t know about

11 it?

12 A. They may have been written up and I

13 wouldn’t know, but to go as far as to put another

14 nurse on probation from the same mistakes that we all

15 made, I was put on probation for —

16 Q. I understand.

17 A. — it was after I filed charges against the

18 patient.

19 Q. But we agree that it’s possible that

20 another nurse could have been written up and you’d not

21 know about it, correct?

22 A. Written up, yes.

23 Q. Now, were you ever allowed to — I

24 assume some of your charts were in this stack from

25 time to time?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Right?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And did you ever go through and correct

5 those without being disciplined?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And did that happen during the time that

8 you worked for Ms. Sutek?

9 A. Yes. I had to — yes, but I didn’t have

10 very many.

11 I never thought about that.

12 Q. There was a reference to somebody named

13 that worked on the nightshift. Do you know her

14 last name?

15 A. No, I don’t.

16 Q. And it says she was out sick. Do you

17 remember how long?

18 A. She was out sick during the entire time

19 of my probation, during the entire time I was on

20 probation she was out. She was not replaced. I was

21 made to work as the only RN, and I did.

22 Q. You can continue to ramble, but it’s

23 just going to prolong the deposition.

24 A. I’m sorry.

25 Q. Okay? I won’t stop you. I’m just


1 telling you it’s going to make it longer.

2 Look at page 11, if you don’t mind. In

3 the middle of the page there is a reference to a

4 standard for transcribing, I guess assessing,

5 admitting, and transcribing orders within five hours.

6 How did you find out about that standard?

7 A. I found out about that standard when I

8 was called into a meeting with Libby and Terry. There

9 was no written standard or verbal.

10 Q. You were called into meeting with Terry

11 and —

12 A. Libby.

13 Q. Libby, that’s Terry Sutek?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And Libby Kitchens?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. What did they say to you about the

18 standard?

19 A. That I needed to meet this standard of

20 assessing, admitting, and transcribing orders on all

21 new clients within five hours. I asked, as I wrote

22 here, if other RNs were being held to the same

23 standard because they weren’t.

24 Q. The question is, how did you find out

25 about it?


1 A. In a meeting.

2 Q. In a meeting —

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. — with Ms. Kitchens and Ms. Sutek?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And they told you that you need to have

7 this task performed within five hours?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And when was that?

10 A. I believe it was during the meeting when

11 I was placed on probation, the first meeting when I

12 was placed on probation, which would have been on

13 February 10, 2013, but I’m not 100 percent positive.

14 I believe it was included there.

15 Q. Look at page 12. The first full

16 paragraph, second sentence, it says, “I finally had

17 another RN scheduled for several of the night shifts I

18 worked.” Who was that RN?

19 A. We had several different prn RNs. It

20 was —

21 Q. Was that coming back?

22 A. No. didn’t come back.

23 Q. She didn’t come back?

24 A. Not while I was there. I don’t remember

25 if it was — I’m having a hard time remembering his


1 name.

2 Q. If you don’t remember, that’s fine.

3 A. I’m sorry. I don’t remember his name.

4 Q. It was a “he”?

5 A. It was a “he.” This was after I wrote a

6 letter to Ms. Kitchens.

7 Q. Ms. Kitchens where you were complaining

8 about staffing?

9 A. Right. I told her it was a dangerous

10 situation for staff, patients.

11 Q. And it was sometime after that —

12 A. Seven days.

13 Q. — you did get another RN on that shift?

14 A. Uh-huh, yes.

15 Q. Next paragraph refers to Ms. Sutek

16 telling you to write your notes in longhand. Did she

17 give you a reason for that?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Did you ask her?

20 A. At that time, no.

21 Q. Did you ever ask, “Why did you ask me to

22 write longhand”?

23 A. I may have asked her in that meeting if

24 I was the only nurse that needed to do that, but as

25 far as why, no, but did I get an accommodation for it.


1 Q. And the last paragraph of this answer

2 where it says “during staff meeting,” it says, “During

3 the staff meeting in late October or early

4 November 2013,” now that’s after you were terminated?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. How did you know what happened in a

7 staff meeting after you were terminated?

8 A. told me.

9 Q. So what is mentioned here about a

10 comment that Sutek made comes to you from

11 <Name redacted)

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. told you?

14 A. She was at the meeting.

15 Q. Have you talked to anyone else about

16 what happened in that meeting?

17 A. Not in that meeting, no.

18 Yes, was in that

19 meeting, too, I think.

20 Q. hasn’t shared with you —

21 A. No.

22 Q. — anything that happened in the

23 meeting?

24 A. No.

25 Q. Does still work at Lakeview?


1 A. No.

2 Q. Why not? Do you know?

3 A. She resigned.

4 Q. Do you know why?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Lay it on us.

7 A. I wasn’t there, so I couldn’t really

8 tell you, but —

9 Q. You can tell me about this meeting that

10 you weren’t in, so —

11 A. I can tell you about what she told me —

12 Q. That’s what I want.

13 A. — and I believed her, and I worked with

14 her, and she’s an excellent LPN, one of the best I

15 ever worked with, and she has never steered me wrong

16 before.

17 Q. What did she tell you?

18 A. Okay. What she told me basically is

19 that her job was eliminated and she went from being an

20 LPN making $20 an hour to a tech, a behavioral tech,

21 making $10 an hour, and she stayed at ASU, and there

22 was a night apparently when the RN who was holding a

23 patient down asked to go in to the medication

24 room and draw up a medication, give it to them, and

25 supposedly he was terminated, and she was going to be


1 terminated. I don’t know if she — I do know she told

2 me she resigned. She wouldn’t talk to them, but I

3 think she had a good idea what was going to happen,

4 but she medicated the patient. She’s a licensed

5 practical nurse, but supposedly it was outside of her

6 job scope at Lakeview even though she’d been a LPN

7 there for many, many years, but that’s what I know.

8 Q. If, in fact, that’s what happened, that

9 she medicated a patient when she was in the tech role,

10 do you think she should have been fired for that?

11 A. I don’t think so. Apparently the charge

12 nurse asked her to do it because there was no one else

13 and he was holding a patient. So at that point you do

14 what you have to do, and I think that if that

15 happened, that would need to be considered if it

16 happened the way it was told.

17 Q. The next question here it says,

18 “Identify any notes, documents, audiotapes that you

19 have that relate to your case, allegations in your

20 complaint, and it says “none.”

21 A. Right.

22 Q. And I want to be certain that’s the

23 case.

24 A. That’s the case.

25 Q. You don’t have any notes of your


1 termination meeting, for example?

2 A. No, I don’t have those. I copied them

3 and, frankly, tore them up and threw them away after I

4 was terminated. They didn’t give me anything at

5 termination.

7 Q. So you had at some point some notes of

8 what happened in the termination meeting?

9 A. At one point I had gone into the HR and

10 copied the allegations against me initially when I was

11 put on probation.

12 Q. Probation, okay. That’s not my

13 question.

14 A. What is your question?

15 Q. I asked about the termination meeting.

16 A. Uh-huh.

17 Q. Okay? Did you take notes about what

18 happened in the termination meeting?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Do you —

21 A. No.

22 Q. Did you ever make notes about anything

23 that happened to you when you worked at Lakeview?

24 A. Are you talking about patient notes or

25 personal notes or emails?


1 Q. Well, I guess all of the above. I’m

2 really interested in something that relates to your

3 case. Okay? The way you were treated, the things

4 that were said, policies at Lakeview, do you have any

5 notes that you took of what happened at Lakeview?

6 A. No.

7 Q. And did you ever have any?

8 A. No. At my termination meeting, which I

9 thought was a meeting with Terry to discuss the

10 probation, I had a notebook and I said tell me what I

11 can do to get better. I didn’t write a single thing

12 down because she told me at that time that I was going

13 to be — we were going to separate. That if that

14 could be included as notes, I don’t have it. I didn’t

15 write anything.

16 Q. There wouldn’t be notes?

17 A. No.

18 Q. You said you did take some notes about

19 the probation allegations, right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Where are those?

22 A. Gone.

23 Q. Why?

24 A. Because after I was terminated I was a

25 little upset, very upset, and I destroyed them. I


1 don’t have them anymore.

2 Q. Any other records that you destroyed

3 after you were terminated?

4 A. No.

5 Q. You never recorded any conversations,

6 did you?

7 A. No.

8 Q. With a tape recorder?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Looks like you were — you gave a

11 deposition in some real estate matter back in the

12 nineties?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. You don’t have a copy of the deposition,

15 do you?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Then you are deposed in some other

18 matter involving ?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Who is that?

21 A. That was my ex-boyfriend.

22 Q. And you don’t have a copy of that, do

23 you?

24 A. Uh-uh, no.

25 Q. And he battered your mother?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Go to page 16, if you would. I’m

3 looking for answer No. 18 that mentions


5 A. Yes.

6 Q. What shift does she work on?

7 A. She worked 7 A to 7 P.

8 Q. Did she ever work on the nightshift with

9 you?

10 A. Yes, she did on multiple occasions.

11 Q. But not on any regular —

12 A. No. Sometimes — actually, I think she

13 may have worked three to eleven. I think she did work

14 three to eleven. That’s back when we still had the

15 eight-hour shifts, yeah, because we overlapped because

16 I had to come in at 7 p.m.

17 Q. To your knowledge did ever

18 make a complaint about staffing in the ASU?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. What do you know about that?

21 A. We had had — I was asked to come in to

22 a meeting by . That was held on Monday

23 of the week that I was terminated. The meeting was

24 with HR and an HR representative regarding staffing

25 security and safety and the environment, hostile work


1 environment.

2 Q. Is that the meeting involving

3 ?

4 A. Yes. And two other nurses, yes.

5 Q. said something about

6 staffing in that meeting?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. What did she say about staffing?

9 A. They’re not well — not well-staffed. I

10 don’t recall precisely. I can’t recall precisely what

11 she said at that meeting, but I know that she was

12 concerned about staffing, the fact that we didn’t have

13 adequate staffing or safety or security, primarily

14 security.

15 Q. Are you aware of any other complaint

16 that made regarding staffing?

17 A. I can’t say specifically, no, but I know

18 she did not feel supported.

19 Q. By Ms. Sutek?

20 A. No. Right.

21 Q. Right?

22 A. Right.

23 Q. Did she ever file criminal charges

24 against a patient?

25 A. No, not to my knowledge.


1 Q. Next page it mentions . To

2 your knowledge did ever make a complaint

3 about staffing?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Tell me about it.

6 A. I can’t say specifically, but I know she

7 was just as concerned as I was. She even discussed

8 unionizing several times, saying we needed a union to

9 improve staffing safety and security.

10 Q. So she voiced that to you?

11 A. Yes, to me.

12 Q. Are you aware of her voicing those

13 concerns to any management person at ASU?

14 A. I wouldn’t have been in there if she

15 did. I know I heard —

16 Q. So you don’t know, do you?

17 A. — staff meetings maybe.

18 Q. What?

19 A. She may have mentioned in a staff

20 meeting —

21 Q. I don’t want you to speculate.

22 A. Okay. I’m not speculating. I don’t

23 know.

24 Q. You don’t know?

25 A. Right.


1 Q. Thank you. If you go further down to

2 your response to No. 19, it says that you know about a

3 policy at Lakeview having to do with harassment,

4 discrimination, retaliation, hostile environment, that

5 sort of thing.

6 A. Uh-huh.

7 Q. How do you know about that?

8 A. I remember reading it. I couldn’t go

9 back and get a copy, but I recall reading it.

10 Q. When and where did you read it?

11 A. In the policies and procedures book.

12 Q. Do you recall when you read it?

13 A. Probably — I don’t recall precisely.

14 Q. Once or more than once?

15 A. I don’t recall.

16 Q. Did anybody go over that policy with

17 you?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Did you receive any training on it?

20 A. No. No. None. Are you discussing the

21 bullying and the harassment?

22 Let me go back a second.

23 Gender discrimination or age

24 discrimination, what are you discussing specifically

25 when you ask if I received training on that?


1 Q. Any of those, any of those policies.

2 A. We had posters that discussed gender

3 discrimination, age discrimination. I know that.

4 National Labor Relations Board posters. But no, no

5 training on bullying or harassment whatsoever.

6 Q. Did you get training on gender

7 discrimination?

8 A. Not that I recall.

9 Q. Or age discrimination?

10 A. Not that I recall.

11 Q. Look at No. 22 on page 19. You

12 mentioned a , an LPN, and , an RN.

13 You see that? And this relates to the patient —

14 A. Oh, yes. Okay.

15 Q. — that complained about you not

16 admitting him or her fast enough?

17 A. Uh-huh.

18 Q. Am I correct that worked

19 the shift before you did?

20 A. She worked 7 A to 7 P, and she is an

21 LPN, not a registered nurse.

22 Q. And when did work on

23 this occasion?

24 A. The next day 7 A to 7 P.

25 Q. So is she relief to you?


1 A. No, she did not relieve me.

2 relieved me. I was in the back.

3 Actually, I was in the back in admissions, and

4 — she’s one of the ones who worked

5 with me. was working as a charge

6 nurse on the actual unit. So I was working in

7 admissions and assessment, relieved me. I


9 Q. I’m with you. And so what was

10 ‘s role?
was the charge nurse, and I

12 discussed the case with her specifically because I was

13 concerned about the patient, and it was after report

14 was given.

15 Q. Did have any responsibility for

16 admissions?

17 A. I don’t know if she worked the day

18 before or not.

19 Q. But as a charge nurse, would the charge

20 nurse have any responsibility for admissions on a

21 dayshift?

22 A. On the dayshift, no. Nightshift, yes.

23 Q. And she worked the dayshift?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Would have had any


1 responsibility for admissions?

2 A. Terry assigned her to admissions. She

3 was an LPN, she was not qualified for that.

4 Q. So do I understand your answer to be no,

5 she did not have any responsibility for admissions?

6 A. She — yes, she had the responsibility

7 for admissions. She was assigned to that role by

8 Terry Sutek despite —

9 Q. Your opinion she was not qualified?

10 A. Mine and others, yes.

11 Q. So she was the day-shift triage nurse;

12 is that right?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Does the day-shift triage nurse also

15 handle admissions?

16 A. Yes. They call it triage, but it’s not

17 technically triage. It’s admissions.

18 Q. And how would you know what the

19 day-shift triage nurse does if you worked on the

20 nightshift?

21 A. She gave me report.

22 Q. Name redacted, LPN> did?

23 A. Yes. You always give report before you

24 leave.

25 Q. To your knowledge was or


1 ever on probation?

2 A. I don’t know.

3 Q. Wouldn’t you know that if they were?

4 A. If they told me.

5 Q. You wouldn’t notice them being absent?

6 A. Not necessarily. Neither one were

7 absent. I wasn’t —

8 Q. Somebody could be on probation and you

9 wouldn’t know about it?

10 A. That’s true.

11 (Defendant’s Exhibit 2 marked for

12 identification.)

13 Q. Look at Defendant’s Exhibit 2. Is this

14 a timeline that you prepared?

15 A. Yes, to the best of my knowledge.

16 Q. And you submitted this to the EEOC or

17 the Florida Commission?

18 A. Yes. Yes.

19 Q. Who — if you look at the second page,

20 it says October 2006 Lakeview recruited you?

21 A. Uh-huh.

22 Q. Who recruited you?

23 A. Bobbie and Marvic Goodspeed, who is now

24 the director, of staffing.

25 Q. And then on March 2, 2011, it says you


1 were hired by then nurse manager Jason Murray?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. I assume Jason is a male?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And it says he was terminated later by

6 Terry Sutek?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. What do you know about his termination

9 by Ms. Sutek?

10 A. I don’t.

11 Q. Do you have any information about why he

12 was terminated?

13 A. No, I don’t. I know he’s deceased now.

14 Q. Do you know when he was terminated?

15 A. He was terminated about two weeks into

16 Terry — two or three weeks into Terry’s management,

17 and I have no idea why. He’s the one that hired me.

18 Q. As I understand it, you and Ms. Sutek

19 were both RNs at one time?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Essentially peers?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. You and she get along at that time?

24 A. There were times when we disagreed.

25 Q. What’s your opinion of her as a nurse?


1 A. She was a good nurse. Not a good nurse

2 manager but a good nurse.

3 Q. It says — the next two entries, the

4 first one is January 19th of ’12 and the next one is

5 January 13th of ’12, that’s out of order, you know, 19

6 coming before 13. Is that — are those dates correct?

7 A. No. It should be January 13, 2013. I

8 apologize. That was a mistake.

9 Q. But the January 19th of ’12 date is

10 correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And the next one, January 13th, should

13 be 2013?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q.

16 A. Yes

17 Q. Any idea how old she was in 2013?

18 A. Probably 43, 44. I’m not sure. She

19 didn’t tell me.

20 Q. She’s a female, correct?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Do you have any information or any

23 knowledge that she ever complained about staffing?

24 A. I know she did to me.

25 Q. Do you know if she complained to any


1 management person?

2 A. I don’t know if she did or not. I don’t

3 know if anyone wrote a letter like I did.

4 Q. Do you think that was unfair that you

5 and were written up over the safe issue?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Do you think that it had anything to do

8 with your gender?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Anything to do with your age?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Do you think it had anything to do with

13 any complaint you made?

14 A. That, I don’t know. At that point, no.

15 That’s when Terry told me she was forced to write me

16 up by Dr. Josephs.

17 Q. On January 22, 2013, you were hit by a

18 patient?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Is that right?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And you filed criminal charges against

23 the patient?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Were you hurt by that?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. What were your injuries?

3 A. I was punched. I didn’t — I didn’t

4 leave. I stayed and worked.

5 Q. What were you injuries?

6 A. My injuries? Headache, ringing in my

7 ears.

8 Q. How long did that last?

9 A. Off and on the whole night, the rest of

10 the night. It was better by the next day.

11 Q. Any permanent injury?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Had you ever been hit by a patient

14 before?

15 A. No.

16 Q. There is a reference here to what

17 Lynne Kitchens told you — not Lynne Kitchens,

18 Lynne Johnson, where she said you had the right to

19 file charges, but you need to think of the client too.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Is there anything — did you take that

22 to be in any way critical of what you had done?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Why is that?

25 A. I was preparing to leave that morning


1 after talking with Terry about it. Terry was very

2 concerned that I was feeling okay. Lynne and Libby

3 said, “No, we need to meet.”

4 So I had to go in and meet with them,

5 and they didn’t ask how I was. They didn’t say, “We

6 hope you’re okay. Can we offer you counseling” or

7 anything like that. All they said to me was what

8 Lynne said, and then Libby Kitchens asked me what I

9 would tell another staff member to do if they were hit

10 or punched by a client, and that was their concern.

11 There was no concern for me whatsoever.

12 Q. And so you — you felt like from those

13 statements made by Lynne and Libby that they were

14 critical of your filing charges?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And was there anything else they said

17 that caused you to come to that conclusion other than

18 what is said here?

19 A. That day?

20 Q. Well, let’s start with that. Was there

21 anything else that day?

22 A. That day, no.

23 Q. And was there anything else said to you

24 at any later time?

25 A. Yes.


1 Q. That caused you to think that anyone was

2 critical of the action you took against this patient?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Who?

5 A. Lynne Johnson.

6 Q. Anyone else?

7 A. No.

8 Q. What did Lynne Johnson say?

9 A. I had a patient who was violent, who had

10 thrown a computer screen off onto the floor and

11 threatened to kill me, and I called law enforcement,

12 had him sent to the ER. I called Lynne to tell her.

13 She was acting admin that night, and basically the

14 first thing she said to me was, “Well, did you file

15 charges this time?” Like that with that tone.

16 And I said, “No. It didn’t involve any

17 bodily injury.”

18 And she said “okay” and hung up.

19 Q. Did she say anything else ever that

20 caused you to think she was critical of what you had

21 done in filing charges?

22 A. Say anything, no.

23 Q. Do anything?

24 A. Her general — the attitude and demeanor

25 of all three of the above-mentioned people changed


1 after I filed the charges, period. All three of them

2 I had never had an issue, any issue, and no, and no

3 disciplinary history or anything like that.

4 Q. But in terms of words that were said to

5 you by anyone in administration at the ASU that makes

6 you think that they were critical of your filing

7 charges —

8 Wait a minute.

9 The two statements by Lynne and what

10 else?

11 A. Statements that had been made in the

12 past by Dr. Josephs when there was a situation

13 involving a patient and a staff person, the general

14 assumption on everybody’s part was that he would side

15 with the patient no matter what, and I found that to

16 generally be true while I was there.

17 During a staff meeting on March 12,

18 2012, a general staff meeting, one of the nightshift

19 techs complained — didn’t complain but asked if we

20 could have more security and staff on nightshift

21 because all we had was a little 75-year-old man who

22 couldn’t intervene, and he told him at that time — he

23 said, “If you’re concerned about your safety, this may

24 not be the job for you.” That was it. Nothing

25 changed. Nothing was ever done. Ever. And, yes,


1 there were multiple people that complained at

2 multiple — at different times.

3 Basically, we were told if we were

4 worried about our personal safety, that wasn’t the job

5 for us. That was the response from Dr. Josephs at

6 that meeting.

7 Q. Who voiced that concern at that meeting?

8 A. It was voiced by one of my techs named

9 Broderick. He had worked the nightshift before. I

10 cannot recall ‘s last name. I know he voiced

11 a concern about staffing and security because he felt

12 we didn’t have the security that we needed as compared

13 to Baptist Hospital who had multiple security guards

14 right there at the front and throughout the emergency

15 room. We had nobody, essentially. And voiced that

16 concern, and that’s when we were all told — and

17 Marvic Goodspeed was at that meeting — that if safety

18 was a concern, it may not be the job for us.

19 Q. And do you remember last

20 that?

21 A. I don’t. He —

22 Q. His job was?

23 A. He was a tech. He was a psychiatric

24 technician.

25 Q. Was he working there when you were


1 terminated?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Do you know what happened to him?

4 A. No, I don’t. I know he was a

5 truck driver too. He may have gone back to truck

6 driving.

7 Q. Did anyone else concur with

8 and what he said in that meeting?

9 A. I did, I think. I don’t remember or

10 recall specifically what I said, if anything, but it’s

11 been a continuing concern of mine since I’ve been

12 there.

13 Q. Did you voice it in that meeting?

14 A. I don’t know.

15 Q. You don’t know?

16 A. I honestly don’t know if I did or not.

17 Q. And it’s your testimony that the

18 attitude and demeanor of Lynne, Libby, and Terry —

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. — changed after you filed charges

21 against the patient?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And do you feel like at that point they

24 were out to get rid of you?

25 A. When I was — I was put on probation on


1 February 10th. I was hit on January 26th, filed the

2 charges, put on probation February 10th for

3 documentation issues —

4 Q. I know the history. I’ve seen it.

5 A. All right.

6 Q. Do you remember my question?

7 No, you don’t?

8 A. Would you restate the question, please?

9 Q. Okay. Do you think that those three

10 individuals, Libby, Lynne and Terry, were out to get

11 you from the time you filed the charges against the

12 patient?

13 A. To clarify the question, I don’t know if

14 “out to get to you” is really proper.

15 Q. Do you think that they made up their

16 mind that they no longer wanted you there after you

17 filed the charges against —

18 A. Probably. Probably. Based on

19 higher-ups.

20 Q. Do you think that your filing charges

21 had something to do with you being terminated?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. You think that was the reason you were

24 terminated?

25 A. Very probably, yes.


1 Q. Do you think that’s why you were put on

2 probation?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. You think it’s why you were — your

5 documentation was reviewed?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Do you think that Terry was harassing

8 you because you had complained about the patient?

9 A. She harassed me the entire time —

10 Q. That’s not my question —

11 A. — from then.

12 Because I complained about the patient?

13 Q. I’m asking why.

14 A. Very probably so, yes.

15 Q. That’s certainly your belief?

16 A. That’s what I think, yes.

17 Q. You believe that based on the timing?

18 A. Based on the timing and the fact that I

19 had never had issues before and I worked with other —

20 Q. Everything was fine until you got hit

21 and filed the charges against the resident. All of a

22 sudden things changed?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Started going downhill?

25 A. Yes.


1 Q. Life got harder at ASU, right?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And so you traced it all back to filing

4 the charges against the resident?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Essentially, your fate was sealed at

7 that point, right?

8 A. Very possibly, but I didn’t realize it.

9 Q. You had a target on your back?

10 A. That’s the way I felt. I couldn’t do

11 anything right. I tried and tried and tried and

12 tried. I wanted to keep my job.

13 Q. You just couldn’t do anything right from

14 that point, could you?

15 A. Right.

16 Q. Do you think Dr. Josephs was in on this,

17 this plot against you?

18 A. I wouldn’t call it a plot against me.

19 That sounds paranoid.

20 Q. You certainly believed they had a plan,

21 don’t you?

22 A. I suspect that Dr. Josephs may have

23 wanted that outcome based on the fact that I filed

24 charges against a patient because he doesn’t like

25 that.


1 Q. And he was in on your termination

2 meeting, right?

3 A. Which is unusual, yes, he was there.

4 Q. So from that, you would conclude he was

5 on the conspiracy, too, wouldn’t you?

6 A. I don’t know. I questioned why he was

7 there. He told me he was there because separation

8 could be anxiety-producing for the person being

9 separated and he wanted to be there for me. The last

10 words he said to me were, “You gave horrible, horrible

11 care.”

12 Q. So you would — you would consider him

13 at least part responsible for your being terminated,

14 right?

15 A. Yes, based on what Terry told me about

16 him demanding that she write up both and I for

17 that safe issue. She called me out of meeting to tell

18 me that, that she didn’t want to lose me. I was one

19 of her best nurses. He made her do it because he was

20 angry. Not at me —

21 Q. You think Dr. Josephs was wrong in his

22 sticking up for patients?

23 A. I think that there needed to be more

24 concern and more openness. I think at times, yes, I

25 think he was wrong for sticking up for the patient


1 without finding out the entire story. He didn’t know

2 what happened with me and how hard I worked with that

3 patient the night — that night. The one that they

4 terminated for, he had no clue. I was never able to

5 tell him.

6 Q. Do you still not know why
7 left?

8 A. I haven’t talked with

9 since. I know that she filed charges when the same

10 patient, hit her four nights later, broke her glasses

11 and whatever.

12 Q. Did you testify at the trial against the

13 patient?

14 A. No, I did not. I was fired five days

15 before the trial.

16 Q. Was there a trial?

17 A. I don’t know if there was or not. I

18 didn’t go, but I know that I was terminated five days

19 before the trial of that patient.

20 Q. By having counted the days, five days —

21 A. Yeah.

22 Q. — that tells me that you find some

23 significant to that.

24 A. Maybe, possibly.

25 Q. What is it?


1 A. I don’t know.

2 Q. You must —

3 A. I don’t know.

4 Q. You don’t think if it was pure

5 coincidence?

6 A. I doubt it.

7 Q. That’s further evidence in your mind

8 that filing charges against the patient was why you

9 got terminated.

10 A. (Nods head.)

11 Q. “Yes”?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Still looking at this timeline on the

14 entry February 11, 2013, where it says, “I saw my

15 personal physician that morning,” and that’s this

16 female doctor —

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Dr. Who? <Name redacted.)

19 A. Dr. <Name redacted.)

20 Q. And then she recommended that you see a

21 counselor unrelated to Lakeview. Did you do that?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Who did you see?

24 A. S

25 .


1 name is unusual, or something like that,
Yes, I saw her three times.

3 Q. East Hill is part of town?

4 A. Yes, the part of town I live in. It’s

5 my neighborhood.

6 Q. Did you — how many times did you see

7 this counselor?

8 A. Three times.

9 Q. All in that same general time period?

10 A. During the time — I took family leave

11 the day after I was put on probation. I was

12 devastated, absolutely devastated. I saw my doctor.

13 She recommended this lady.

15 Q. Did this help you?

16 A.

18 Q. Okay.

19 A. She did. She did. She certainly did.

20 Q. I assume you talked to her about what

21 was going on at work and what had happened?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Did you share with her that — your

24 feeling that you were being retaliated against because

25 of filing charges against the resident?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Did you tell her — did you give her any

3 other reason that you thought you were being

4 mistreated?

5 A. That was the primary reason. The other

6 reason would be the fact that when I was terminated, I

7 was replaced by two younger males. One —

8 Q. Wait a minute. You hadn’t been

9 terminated yet.

10 A. Oh, that’s right. You’re right. I’m

11 sorry. I’m… Could you repeat the question, please?

12 Q. Yeah. Did you share with her any other

13 reason other than the charges against the patient that

14 you thought you were being mistreated at Lakeview?

15 A. I shared with her what I had been told

16 in my — in the meeting in which I was put on

17 probation, and she told me it looked to her like

18 someone was really out to get me based on the nature

19 of the — she was very helpful. She actually

20 encouraged me. She was going to help me write a

21 rebuttal, but I decided not to write a rebuttal

22 because I wanted to keep my job. That was my mistake.

23 Q. But she felt like it did look like

24 somebody was out to get you, and it looked like the

25 reason was filing charges against the patient?


1 A. Very probably, yes. She had concerns

2 about safety and security as well, things she heard

3 over the years.

4 Q. Down to May 7, 2013, it says you were

5 forced to work by yourself as both charge nurse and

6 triage nurse. Do you see that?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And that would be on the night shift,

9 right?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. For what period of time did you fulfill

12 both of those roles, charge nurse and triage nurse?

13 A. Up until the time that I wrote the

14 letter to Libby Kitchens. I came back to work

15 March 5th and was still off. She had a broken

16 arm. I wrote the letter to Libby in the latter part of

17 April. Staffing improved somewhat after that if I

18 recall. I do have copies of the schedules.

19 Q. You do?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. You’ve given those —

22 A. Yes. Yes. And I talked with Terry at

23 least three times about — I said please get a

24 replacement. I need a replacement on nightshift for

25 the — somebody to work in the back so I can work as


1 charge nurse, because I was doing both jobs, both

2 jobs, and I was on probation. I’m a bad nurse on

3 probation working with less staff.

4 Q. I want to get your best recollection of

5 when you were in both roles. Okay?

6 A. I would say from the time I came back

7 from family leave, which is March 5th.

8 Q. Right.

9 A. Until after I wrote the letter, which

10 was approximately April 26th, 26th or 27th, I believe.

11 So that would be six weeks? Yeah.

12 Q. And then you got — after you wrote the

13 letter, you had that extra additional RN, the male?

14 A. And . She was also

15 there with me. The last night that I worked she was

16 there. She did charge nurse and I did admissions just

17 to take a break.

18 Q. What was last name, the RN?

19 A.

20 Q. That’s right. , she was

21 an RN?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Do you know how old she is or was?

24 A. About 38.

25 Q. Female?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Right. Did she ever complain about

3 staffing?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. To you or anyone else?

6 A. To me in meetings, yes.

7 Q. To you in meetings?

8 A. To me and to others in meetings, yes.

9 It was a pretty common complaint.

10 Q. Who did she complain to that you know

11 about in management at Lakeview about staffing?

12 A. About staffing? I know it was mentioned

13 in that meeting that we had.

14 Q. The May 13th meeting?

15 A. Right. I don’t know specifically what

16 she said. We talked about so many different things,

17 and she said something to me. She said something —

18 of course the nurses talk among themselves. They were

19 all concerned about staffing, so yes, staffing and

20 safety, she has.

21 Q. So you remember her —

22 A. Was I with her? No.

23 I’m sorry.

24 Q. Let me try to clear this up. Did you

25 ever personally hear complain about


1 staffing to any member of management at Lakeview?

2 A. No.

3 Q. How about , did you ever

4 hear her —

5 A. No.

6 Q. — complain?

7 A. No.

8 Q. About anything?

9 A. Among ourselves, yes.

10 Q. But to any member of management?

11 A. I would not have necessarily been there.

12 Q. That’s all I’m asking about. Did you

13 ever hear —

14 A. Right.

15 Q. You never heard complain

16 about staffing —

17 A. To anyone in administration?

18 Q. Right.

19 A. No.

20 Q. How about ?

21 A. She’s an LPN.

22 Q. Did you —

23 A. Whether she complained to someone in

24 staffing or not — I mean, administration, I don’t

25 know.


1 Q. And , did you ever hear

2 her complain to anyone in management about staffing?

3 A. During the meeting that we held.

4 Q. The May 13th meeting?

5 A. Yes. As I said something, did.

6 That’s one of the reasons the meeting was held to

7 support her and…

8 (Defendant’s Exhibit 3 marked for

9 identification.)

10 Q. Defendant’s Exhibit 3, if I’m reading it

11 correctly, these are your responses to some questions

12 posed to you by the Florida Commission?

13 A. Right.

14 Q. And you typed these up and provided them

15 to the Florida Commission?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Right? So can I assume that you

18 answered the Commission’s questions truthfully and

19 completely?

20 A. Yes, as far as I knew.

21 Q. And the timeline, you gave that to the

22 Florida Commission as well, didn’t you?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And I assume you were trying to be

25 complete and accurate when you provided that as well?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And it is complete and accurate to the

3 best of your knowledge?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q.

6 do you know her age?

7 A. No. Very young.

8 Q. I’m assuming that is a female; is that

9 correct?

10 A. Yes, I would say 24, 25 at the most.

11 Q. To your knowledge, did ever

12 complain about staffing to any management at Lakeview?

13 A. I don’t know.

14 Q. If you look at your answer to No. 7 on

15 the second page where it refers to , you

16 quote Ms. Sutek as saying, ” has been complaining

17 a lot, and all of a sudden she stopped complaining.”

18 Do you have any idea why had been

19 complaining about?

20 A. She was young and she complained about

21 staffing to us and safety to the staff that worked

22 with her. She made — I don’t know what she

23 complained about. I have no way of knowing what she

24 complained about, but I do know that Terry told me

25 that it was a concern for Lakeview because she had


1 been complaining, and it really didn’t make a lot of

2 sense to me, and that all of a sudden she stopped

3 complaining, so somebody was convinced that she was

4 going to take legal action. I don’t know. Didn’t

5 know anything about it. I still don’t. I really don’t

6 understand the correlation, but that’s what she told

7 me. That’s what Terry told me in a private meeting.

8 Q. Who are the nurses that you can name who

9 felt like staffing was inadequate?

10 A. All.

11 Q. You mean that literally?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And that includes RNs and LPNs?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Did the technicians feel that way too?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And in your experience as a nurse, was

18 understaffing a common concern?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Were there other places that you worked

21 where you felt like more staffing was needed?

22 A. I would have to go back to each job, but

23 no, it’s not when I was working in critical care or

24 anything like that, no. No. This job is different.

25 ASU is different from any other position I’ve have.


1 Q. Is it possible to be overstaffed in your

2 opinion?

3 A. Possible.

4 Q. And —

5 A. Rare.

6 Q. How many is too many on the nightshift?

7 A. It — there is no way — and this was my

8 continuing contention that you cannot say, all right,

9 we’re only going to have three techs and two nurses on

10 nightshift, because if something does happen and you

11 need another tech, you’ve got to be able to get them

12 or another nurse or whatever.

13 It’s a very fluid, ever-changing — the

14 situation, and you can’t — you can’t go by numbers.

15 You have to go by acuity when you’re staffing, but

16 that was my concern the whole time. You have to go by

17 acuity, in other words, seriousness of the patients.

18 Is anyone violent? Do you have someone in seclusion

19 and restraints that needs one to one? Do you have

20 another patient who is schizophrenic who needs someone

21 with them all the time. And yes, you could take the

22 shift — the staff that you’ve got and you can do the

23 very best you can, but you should not have to do that

24 all the time. It’s too dangerous.

25 Q. And so how many — what do you feel like


1 should have been the staffing on the nightshift?

2 A. I can’t — like I just said, there is no

3 way to say by numbers. You cannot say specifically we

4 need this many — it’s a very fluid, ever-changing —

5 Q. Somebody’s got to make the schedule,

6 right?

7 A. Yeah.

8 Q. And I tell you, you didn’t make it?

9 A. Actually, I did make it when Bobbie was

10 out on leave, but that’s years ago.

11 Q. Somebody’s got to make the schedule?

12 A. Yeah —

13 Q. And so —

14 A. — Terry.

15 Q. — if you were the one that had to make

16 the schedule, what would you — what would you put on

17 it?

18 A. I would probably put — let’s see —

19 four techs minimum, four techs. If you’re going to

20 have only two nurses, they both need to be RNs. If

21 not, then you need to have two RNs and an LPN med

22 nurse. It’s tough enough to do it with just two RNs.

23 Q. You felt like two RNs — something about

24 a med nurse?

25 A. If you have an LPN who is a med nurse,


1 such as was, she could not work as an RN

2 and in admissions, so you really need another RN.

3 That would be two RNs, charge nurse, admissions nurse,

4 and med nurse. They eliminated her position for that

5 reason because they did not want three nurses on

6 nightshift or some such. But I would say

7 minimum two RNs, one admission nurse, one charge

8 nurse, four techs, because you never know what is

9 going to happen.

10 Q. So four techs, two RNs, one who does

11 admissions and one who is a charge nurse?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And do you — would you put an LPN on

14 the shift as well?

15 A. Back when I was working, yes.

16 had been in that position as medication nurse and

17 that’s what she did. It’s a big responsibility taking

18 off orders and all that, but she could not work in

19 admissions. She couldn’t do that, and she knew it.

20 Q. And you felt like an LPN would have been

21 needed in addition to two RNs?

22 A. At that point, yes. When was

23 working, yes. The reason is she’s not qualified to do

24 admissions, so I was left to do both admissions —

25 Q. And why was she not qualified?


1 A. — and charge nurse.

2 She’s an LPN. She’s a licensed

3 practical nurse. They don’t have the training, they

4 don’t have the knowledge, don’t have the experience.

5 You’ve got to know not only psychiatric, but medical,

6 everything.

7 Q. To your knowledge is the workload any

8 different between dayshift and nightshift?

9 A. In terms of nurses or techs or both?

10 Q. In terms of the work that has to be done

11 with regard to the patients, is the workload any

12 different?

13 A. Okay. It would depend on how you define

14 “workload,” but in terms of nightshift being any less

15 busy than dayshift, I don’t see much difference.

16 Dayshift deals with different things. They deal with

17 discharges, things like that, patients that are up,

18 getting medications, but nightshift deals with the

19 hard-core stuff that comes in the backdoor too.

20 Q. I would think during the night the

21 patients, a lot of them are asleep?

22 A. It would be nice if they slept. We’re

23 talking about the way that it was. I have no idea how

24 it is now. I think it’s a ten-bed unit —

25 Q. When you were there?


1 A. Did the majority sleep? Sometimes.

2 Sometimes not. You never know. And you didn’t know

3 what was going to come through that backdoor.

4 Q. I’m just trying to get your opinion. In

5 your opinion, the workload is no different between day

6 and nightshift?

7 A. The workload is different in terms of

8 what needs to be done, yes; but in terms of the number

9 of staff needed, no.

10 Q. In your opinion, though, the staffing

11 level ought to be the same between day and night?

12 A. And again, that varies.

13 Q. Is that what you’re saying? It should

14 be the same?

15 A. Yes. But like I said, you can’t put a

16 number on it.

17 Q. Well, you have to put a number on it.

18 A. No, you don’t.

19 Q. Well, if you were running the place, how

20 would you do it?

21 A. I would do exactly what was done: Four,

22 two — exactly what was done: Two nurses and four

23 techs was what we were supposed to have. We didn’t

24 have that very often.

25 Q. Okay. But as long as there were four


1 techs and two RNs on the nightshift, you were happy?

2 A. Depending on the situation. There was

3 one night when no, it wasn’t adequate.

4 Q. Anything less than four techs and two

5 RNs you felt was insufficient?

6 A. Dangerous.

7 Q. Dangerous?

8 A. Dangerous. And we had no security.

9 Nothing.

10 Q. You mean that literally?

11 A. I mean that literally.

12 Q. Because it’s going to read literally.

13 A. I mean literally. We had — the only

14 security we had was one security person at the time I

15 was there. He was approximately 75 years old and

16 about , and he covered the entire Lakeview campus.

17 Q. So it would be inaccurate to say there

18 was no security. If you want to say it, say it.

19 A. That was all the security that we had,

20 and we felt like we needed more security.

21 Q. Was a tiny, little old man?

22 A. Very sweet, very kind, but he was all we

23 had, yes. Compared to Baptist. Who knows how many

24 they had.

25 Q. Why was terminated? Do


1 you know?

2 A. I don’t know for certain. I don’t know

3 for sure. She tried to explain it to me, but — I

4 know she said Terry told her she was going to take her

5 license and all of that.

6 Q. I see here under what you say about

7 , a little bit further in: <Name redacted, RNs

8 told HR that most, if not all, of the nurses felt

9 threatened by Sutek's management style.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And is it your belief that — do you

12 agree with that?

13 A. Yes, sir.

14 Q. Most, if not all, of the nurses felt

15 threatened by Sutek's management style?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. “Yes”?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And that would be RNs and LPNs?

20 A. Probably.

21 Q. And who — who do you know from talking

22 to them that they felt threatened by Sutek's

23 management style?

A. I had a list.

25 Q. You do. And that would be 127

1 all these people?

2 A. She

3 terminated a lot of people, and she kept people on

4 edge and tried to play one person against another to

5 get information, the situation with , and

6 she certainly wasn’t honest with us by her own

7 admission.

8 Q. She admitted she was not honest with

9 you?

10 A. Oh, yes.

11 Q. Well, tell me about that.

12 A. I already did. When she wrote me up for

13 that safe situation — it’s not actually a safe. It’s

14 actually a paper shredder.

15 Q. Paper shredder?

16 A. Yes. She wrote me up, and I was

17 sad about that. We both took responsibility for that

18 because we didn’t know which one of us may have done

19 it, nobody knew, and four days later she came in and

20 said something — she didn’t know — “I didn’t want to

21 do that. I didn’t do that. Josephs made me do it.”

22 Kind of what made me think that maybe he was behind

23 this other thing too.

24 Q. But what about that situation causes you

25 to say that Ms. Sutek was dishonest?


1 A. She told me she wrote me up. Then later

2 she told me that actually it was Dr. Josephs who

3 forced her. “Dishonest” may not be the appropriate

4 term.

5 Q. Well, that’s what you said, and that’s

6 what —

7 A. That’s what I said.

8 Q. — our court reporter is going to write

9 down.

10 A. To me that is dishonest.

11 Q. What is dishonest?

12 A. Okay. I’m going to write you up for

13 something. I’m your supervisor. I have written you

14 up. I have signed it and given it to you. Four days

15 later I come back: “You know, I didn’t want to do

16 that. That wasn’t my idea. I would never have

17 written you up for that, but I was forced to.”

18 Q. And you conclude that’s dishonest?

19 A. I would think it is pretty dishonest,

20 yeah.

21 Q. Is that the basis for saying that

22 Ms. Sutek is dishonest?

23 A. That was the basis for saying that.

24 Q. Any other thing, any other basis than

25 that?


1 A. Not that I can think of. Well, tell me

2 that I was doing well on probation and then telling me

3 that I wasn’t. Things — I’ve got the letter:

4 “Things are going very well. I’m very pleased.”

5 And then two or three days later — I

6 mean, it was like — I felt like I was on a roller

7 coaster. I didn’t know what to believe.

8 (Defendant’s Exhibit 4 marked for

9 identification.)

10 Q. Take a look at No. 4.

11 A. Do I have numbers in here? Oh, Exhibit

12 No. 4.

13 Q. Yeah. Defendant’s Exhibit 4.

14 This is an account that you wrote

15 regarding your termination?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And you provided this to the Florida

18 Commission as well, didn’t you?

19 A. Yes.

20 (Defendant’s Exhibit 5 marked for

21 identification.)

22 Q. No. 5, Defendant’s Exhibit 5 is titled

23 “Lakeview’s accusation on February 10 that I didn’t

24 ” This is a

25 document that you typed, correct?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And you provided this to the Florida

3 Commission?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And there is a reference here by

6 Ms. Sutek to an order about this patient to

7 Is that referring to a doctor’s order?

8 A. I was never able to find a doctor’s

9 order. If there was one, I could not find it, and I

10 tried.

11 Q. Where are they kept?

12 A. When the patient is on the unit, they

13 are usually kept in the patient’s chart.

14 Q. Which is something you have access to.

15 A. Yes. And if there was a doctor’s order,

16 I never saw it. I asked about it. I asked to see it.

17 I asked during a meeting.

18 Q. Did you ever look in the chart?

19 A. Every day, every night. I never saw it.

20 Q. You are saying you looked in that

21 patient’s chart —

22 A. No, I am not saying that. I’m saying

23 the order could have been written. I’m not saying

24 that at all. You look in every patient’s chart every

25 night, you check it out, but you’re off for four


1 nights. If that patient is discharged while you’re

2 gone, you’re not going to know what orders are in that

3 chart. Okay? I never saw an order for

4 I tried —

5 Q. What I’m trying to determine is did you

6 look in this —

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. — patient’s chart?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Did you look in the patient’s chart

11 before February 10th?

12 A. I don’t know. I don’t know. It would

13 depend on if I worked those nights.

14 Q. So you may or may not have looked in the

15 chart before February 10th, you just don’t know?

16 A. I don’t know.

17 Q. And are you saying that you know for

18 sure that you looked in that patient’s chart after

19 this incident on February 10th?

20 A. I tried to find the chart and could not.

21 Q. So you can’t say for sure whether you

22 ever looked in that patient’s chart?

23 A. I can’t — I looked in — . I’m certain I

25 looked in her chart probably — I don’t know how many


1 times over the course of the time that I worked at

2 Lakeview, but this specific time I had not seen, I had

3 not heard, anything about an order being written for

5 Q. After this incident happened where

6 you’re told that the patient has an order, did you go

7 look in the chart to see if there was?

8 A. She had been discharged. The chart was

9 no longer on the unit. I tried to find it. I went

10 over next door to try to find it. I tried to find it

11 in Bonnie’s office, Terry’s office, because I wanted

12 to know if there was a written order.

13 Q. So when a patient’s discharged, what

14 happens to the chart?

15 A. The chart normally goes over to Bonnie,

16 who does the auditing. I don’t know if she’s even

17 still there. So that’s the first place I looked, and

18 at one point I even asked Bonnie if she knew where

19 that chart was. I found an old chart on this

20 particular patient, but not documentation pertaining

21 to that incident, because I tried to find it to find

22 out if she had — I asked Terry. She told me it was

23 irrelevant during the meeting.

24 Q. But in terms of you trying to find it,

25 you went to


1 A. I went to —

2 Q. And she didn’t have it?

3 A. No. It’s the only thing I would have been

4 able to do, I can’t legally go to medical records and

5 request a chart on my own as a nurse. The ones that

6 are on the unit that I have access to, fine, but I

7 can’t go to medical records and say that I want to see

8 a particular patient’s chart. Okay?

9 Q. And you have explained in this

10 Defendant’s Exhibit 5 why you did not

12 A. Uh-huh.

13 Q. And this your —

14 A. Accurate.

15 Q. — your side of the story?

16 A. Yes.

20 (Defendant’s Exhibit 6 marked for

21 identification.)

22 Q. Look at No. 6, Defendant’s Exhibit 6.

23 Six is another document that you prepared. All right?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And you sent this to the Florida


1 Commission?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. In response to — Item No. 4, in bold it

4 says, “No other RN on any other shift was told she/he

5 had to transcribe admission orders within a specific

6 timeframe. This expectation was directed only at me.”

7 How in the world can you say that no

8 other RN on a shift that you didn’t even work on —

9 how can you say what they were told or what they

10 weren’t?

11 A. I asked individually. Every single nurse.

12 Q. You went to every single nurse?

13 A. Yes. That worked nightshift, yes.

14 Q. When did you go to them?

15 A. I don’t know specific dates. Like I

16 said, I didn’t keep records of dates of things, but I

17 asked them. No one had ever heard of anything like

18 that. There was no policy. There was no notice.

19 There was no memo. I asked the nurses on dayshift as

20 well.

21 Q. And you don’t know when — what — did

22 you go around and talk to them face-to-face —

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. — call them on the phone?

25 A. Face to face at work. I didn’t call


1 anybody on the phone.

2 Q. What — how would you talk the dayshift

3 people?

4 A. How would I talk to them?

5 Q. Yeah. Would you catch them before —

6 A. Yeah. We overlapped.

7 Q. — before you went home?

8 A. Yes. I wanted to be certain.

9 Q. What do you think was the appropriate

10 timeframe in which to transcribe admission orders?

11 A. Again, that is another variable. When

12 you’ve only got one nurse in the back and in the front

13 doing charts and doing admissions, you bring — you

14 have all of that to do. There really is no timeframe.

15 You need to get it done as soon as you can, but there

16 is no standard timeframe, and we would come in on

17 nightshift, and there would be charts from ten o’clock

18 in the morning that hadn’t been transcribed. It was

19 very common.

20 That’s why I said to all of the nurses,

21 “Have you ever heard of this? This is the first I’ve

22 heard of it.”

23 They said, “No. I’ve never heard of

24 that.”

25 You can ask them. And — but there was


1 a specific timeframe, and I don’t think you can really

2 put one on that. It depends on what’s going on. It

3 really does. It’s not uncommon at all for it to be

4 hours. What you’d have to do is go through and make

5 sure that the admission orders that are critical are

6 taken care of. Particularly if they are a detox patient

7 or psychotic or something like that.

8 Q. Do you think it was unreasonable for

9 Ms. Sutek to expect those to be transcribed within a

10 certain period of time?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Number 5, you mentioned interviewing or

13 subpoenaing staff members with whom you worked.

14 A. Where?

15 Q. Do you see Item 5?

16 A. All right.

17 Q. It says, “My employers claim that I

18 couldn’t manage the unit. Did not take responsibility

19 for my team is absolutely ludicrous as later

20 interviews/subpoenas of the staff members with whom I

21 worked will prove.”

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Who should I interview or subpoena?

24 A. Anyone who was working nightshift when I

25 was. Anyone. We had a tight team. We really did.


1 Functioned well. We knew what the other person was

2 going to do in any given situation.

3 Q. And then further down it says Ms. Sutek

4 was not pleased when you were unwilling to write up

5 two specific nightshift employees.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Who were those two?

8 A. Let’s see. One was , and

9 the other one was — didn’t have anything to do with

10 personality conflicts, but she expressed some concerns

11 about , and I saw no reason to write

12 up. And the situation with , I

13 counseled her several times, and she was getting a

14 whole lot better by the time Terry asked me to write

15 her up. She wasn’t doing anything to write her up

16 for. I don’t do that.

17 (Defendant’s Exhibit 7 marked for

18 identification.)

19 Q. Defendant’s Exhibit 7 is a letter you

20 wrote, correct?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Again, to the Florida Commission; is

23 that correct?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Towards the bottom of this first page


1 after the word “first,” you comment — you comment on

2 who replaced you. Okay.

3 A. Right.

4 Q. And what is the source or who is the

5 source of your information about who replaced you?

6 A. Well, I trained

7 Q. Wait a minute.

8 A. The source?

9 Q. Wait a minute.

10 The source? Yeah.

11 A. Did I specifically tell you my source?

12 Q. What?

13 A. I need to specifically tell you the

14 person?

15 Q. Yeah.

16 A. It was

17 Q. Okay. So whatever information you

18 have —

19 A. Right. I wasn’t there. And I expressed

20 that, but I was told that this — basically,

21 Lakeview’s contention was they hired another person.

22 I don’t know his name —

23 Q. No. No, no. I’m not asking you about

24 contention. I’m asking who is the source. Okay? And

25 you told me. Right?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Who else?

3 A.

4 Q. I thought

5 left before you did.

6 A. Did she?

7 Q. You all had that meeting —

8 A. No, no, no. She left after I did. So

9 did shortly after I was terminated.

10 left.

11 Q. So the information you have about who

12 replaced you comes from , who else?

13 A. Who else?

15 Q. And you acknowledge that you have no

16 personal knowledge of who replaced you because you

17 weren’t there.

18 A. I wasn’t there.

19 Q. And if you go the bottom of the second

20 page under the third part where it says “third,” and

21 continuing on to the next page, it says, “I now see

22 that I was discriminated against based on my physical

23 disability.” And do you believe that?

24 A. I — that one specific requirement that

25 I handwrite all my notes when all the other nurses


1 typed theirs, she knew or should have known.

2 Q. Wait a minute. Listen to my question,

3 please.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Do you believe now that you were

6 discriminated against based on a physical disability?

7 You told the Florida Commission that —

8 A. Yes, in that one situation —

9 Q. — and I assume —

10 A. Yes —

11 Q. — you’re being honest — I assume you

12 are being honest in whatever you send to the Florida

13 Commission, right?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. That’s a government agency?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And you held that belief when you wrote

18 this letter December of 2013, right?

19 A. Yes. Based on one incident.

20 Q. And you hold that belief today?

21 A. Based on one incident.

22 Q. Is the answer to my question “yes”?

23 A. Yes, based on one incident.

24 Q. Would you like to tell me the incident?

25 A. I think we’ve already covered it.


1 Q. Is that the having-to-write-

2 your-notes —

3 A. Right. Writing my notes longhand while the

4 other nurses typed theirs, yes. Having to get the

5 accommodation from my doctor, and she knew or should

6 have know that I have a disability. Sometimes it’s

7 apparent when I walk and when I move.

8 Q. What disability are you talking about?

9 A. I told you I had Stiff Person’s

10 Syndrome. It is a disability. Right now it’s a

11 compassionate allowance, although I don’t have

12 disability .

13 Q. What is a compassionate allowance?

14 A. People who are diagnosed with that get

15 it really quickly, get Social Security Disability

16 really quickly. There’s a list. You can find it on

17 the internet. And it’s —

18 Q. I’ve never heard that term,

19 “compassionate” —

20 A. Yeah. I do a lot of research.

21 Q. Is that a Social Security term?

22 A. Social Security Disability.

23 Q. Are you getting Social Security

24 Disability?

25 A. No, I am not. No, I don’t need it.


1 Q. Do you have plans to file for it?

2 A. No.

3 Q. What does the fact that you have a

4 compassionate allowance mean?

5 A. I keep up. It doesn’t really mean

6 anything in relevance to this case whatever. I did

7 tell them when I was hired in October 2006. To the

8 best of my knowledge, I clicked “yes” on the “Do you

9 have a disability?” I haven’t seen it. I recall that

10 I did that. This was the only incident, right, that I

11 mentioned here. If she didn’t know I had a

12 disability, I don’t know what to say, but —

13 Q. Did you ever tell her you did?

14 A. No, because I don’t really discuss it.

15 Q. Why do you think that she knew or should

16 have known about it?

17 A. Because it was on my application. She

18 was the nurse manager. She had access to all of that.

19 Q. She is not the one that hired you, is

20 she?

21 A. No. That was Jason Murray.

22 Q. So you’re saying that she would have

23 access to your personnel file and she could see that

24 you had disclosed a disability back when you were

25 hired?


1 A. Yes, if she saw that.

2 Q. Any other reason you think she knew or

3 should have known?

4 A. That I have a disability?

5 Q. Yes.

6 A. Like I said, just the way that I walk

7 sometimes; otherwise, no. Unless she — if she

8 checked my application, she would have known.

9 Q. Here at the — in the middle of this

10 same page, there are several people, a number of

11 people listed as being terminated: ;

12 was unable to return; , job

13 was eliminated; , terminated;

14 –

15 A. That’s supposed to be

16 Q.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Okay. Was terminated by Sutek?

19 A. I can’t remember. No. It might have

20 been . I’m not sure.

21 Q. Did Sutek eliminate

22 position?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Is that before Sutek?

25 A. Yes.


1 Q. Did get terminated by Sutek?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Was forced to resign by Sutek?

4 A. She said that she was, and this is

5 not — I don’t think I ever indicated that they were

6 all fired by Sutek, but this was a thing at ASU.

7 Q. What male nurses do you recall other

8 than Jason Murray?

9 A. is probably about 38.

10 , I’m not sure how old he was. Probably

11 about in his forties. I would think late forties.

12 is an LPN. I don’t know how old he is.

13 Q. <Name redacted? who?

14 A. . He doesn’t work — he

15 didn’t work the floor. Jason Murray, he was about 38.

16 The new person that they hired, but I don’t even know

17 him. I don’t know his last name. Andy somebody. I

18 have no idea how old he was. That’s about all. But

19 it was that ran nightshift

20 after I left, supposedly.

21 MR. UMBACH: Why don’t we take a break?

22 (Lunch recess taken from 12:40 p.m. to

23 1:30 p.m.)

24 (Defendant’s Exhibit 8 marked for

25 identification.)


1 Q. (By Mr. Umbach) Ms. Brown, we’re back

2 from lunch. And let me show you another document,

3 Defendant’s Exhibit 8.

4 Defendant’s Exhibit 8 I believe are a

5 series of emails that you provided I think to the

6 Florida Commission; is that right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And these are all emails that you either

9 sent or received?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And the first email is what I think you

12 had referred to as the letter to Libby Kitchens in the

13 end of April of 2013 where you complained about

14 staffing?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And this — you sent this to her by

17 email; is that correct?

18 A. Yes. I sent it from home.

19 Q. And did you send it to anyone besides

20 Ms. Kitchens?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Did you get a response from

23 Ms. Kitchens?

24 A. No.

25 Q. Verbally or in writing?


1 A. No.

2 Q. Did you talk to her at all about it?

3 A. No.

4 Q. And you said soon after you sent this,

5 there was a change in the staffing on the nightshift.

6 There was, correct?

7 A. (Nods head.)

8 Q. “Yes”?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And do you correlate your letter and the

11 change in the staffing?

12 A. I don’t know.

13 Q. You don’t — you don’t know for sure

14 whether your letter had anything to do —

15 A. Not for sure, no.

16 Q. — with that? Okay.

17 (Defendant’s Exhibit 9 marked for

18 identification.)

19 Q. Take a look at No. 9. I think a lot of

20 these are the same ones we just saw, but not all of

21 them. Can you just confirm for me that these are all

22 emails that you either sent or received?

23 A. Yes. Yes.

24 This is not a letter (indicating).

25 Q. It’s not an email?


1 A. No.

2 Q. So the third one from the end —

3 A. Fourth one.

4 Q. The fourth one from —

5 A. Fourth one from the end is not an email.

6 Q. That looks like something you sent to

7 the Florida Commission?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. So obviously that’s not an email, but

10 everything else is an email that you sent or received?

11 A. Yes.

12 Yes.

13 Q. Now, how did you come to have these

14 emails? Are these things you printed while you worked

15 there?

16 A. They are from a work email.

17 Q. But you would have provided this to the

18 Florida Commission after your termination, right?

19 A. Uh-huh.

20 Q. Correct?

21 A. Correct.

22 Q. So how did you get to them in order

23 to —

24 A. I emailed them to myself.

25 Q. You emailed them to yourself?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. When did you do that?

3 A. I don’t know exactly which day.

4 Q. But it would have been during the time

5 you still were employed?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And when you say emailed them to

8 yourself, you mailed them to some personal email

9 address?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. In some of these messages it says at the

12 top “forwarded by Melissa Franklin.” That’s you,

13 right?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. On 5/7 of ’13. Is that when you —

16 A. Must have been. If that’s what it says,

17 yes.

18 Q. So you, on 5/7 of ’13, forwarded all

19 these emails to yourself?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. It looks like you literally did all of

22 them on that day?

23 A. Yes, I guess so.

24 Q. What prompted you to do that?

25 A. Like I said, the — the basic


1 demeanor — I had been told that I was going to be put

2 on a second probation after being told I was doing

3 well on my probation, and I think that was the night

4 that I worked that I did it.

5 Q. When you were told that you —

6 A. That they were extending my probation.

7 Q. Okay.

8 A. That was pretty clear at that point.

9 Q. What was clear to you?

10 A. I had been told previously that I was

11 doing really well. It would be over soon. The next

12 thing I know I was back on probation again.

13 Q. And so —

14 A. I was very disappointed.

15 Q. What was clear to you?

16 A. It was clear to me that they wanted me

17 to leave one way or the other, and I was determined

18 not to leave. I wasn’t going to quit.

19 Q. I notice your email to Libby Kitchens

20 was April 26th of ’14?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Were you on leave at that point?

23 A. No, no.

24 Wait a minute. Mine says April — a

25 letter from Libby. It may be —


1 Q. It’s ’13 — it’s obviously ’13?

2 A. Yeah. No, mine says ’13. It was ’13.

3 No, I was not on leave at that point. It was when I

4 was working short-staffed and on probation and doing

5 the best I could.

6 Q. When did you first consult with a lawyer

7 regarding your employment at Lakeview?

8 A. I called an actual lawyer? After I was

9 terminated, yeah.

10 Q. After you were terminated?

11 A. Yes. I spoke with a paralegal prior to

12 that.

13 Q. When did you first speak with a

14 paralegal?

15 A. Gosh, I don’t know. Probably about the

16 same time I wrote the letter that I sent — I don’t

17 know. I don’t know. And again, I’m not sure who I

18 spoke with either.

19 Q. But you had been in touch with a — at

20 least a paralegal around the time that you wrote the

21 letter to Libby Kitchens?

22 A. No. No, not at that point. No.

23 Q. Were you in touch with the paralegal

24 when you forwarded all these emails to yourself?

25 A. By then I don’t know if that was before


1 or after. It was probably after.

2 Q. After you had consulted with a

3 paralegal?

4 A. Yeah. I know I consulted after I was

5 put on probation again. At that point I did not know

6 what my options were.

7 Q. Tell me about your discussion with the

8 paralegal.

9 MR. CONNORS: I’m going to object to

10 that —


12 MR. CONNORS: — line of questioning.

13 MR. UMBACH: The paralegal?

14 MR. CONNORS: Well, it’s still law

15 office staff. I don’t know whose it would be,

16 but regardless, if it was any kind of legal

17 staff as a representation of the office, then

18 there is an attorney-client privilege that

19 attaches to that.

20 MR. UMBACH: Huh. Okay.

21 Q. (By Mr. Umbach) Well, let me explore

22 that a little bit. When you talked to the paralegal,

23 was it a phone call or in person?

24 A. Phone.

25 Q. Once or more than once?


1 A. Just once.

2 Q. Was that paralegal associated with any

3 particular attorney?

4 A. I don’t know.

5 Q. Did the paralegal work for an attorney?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Who?

8 A. (Indicating).

9 Q. Mr. Connors?

10 MR. CONNORS: My firm?


12 MR. CONNORS: You’re saying my firm?


14 MR. CONNORS: Just verbalize it.

15 A. Westberry & Connors.

16 Q. (By Mr. Umbach) Do you remember the

17 name of the paralegal?

18 A. No, I don’t.

19 Q. When you talked to the paralegal, was

20 there a lawyer on the phone as well?

21 A. No.

22 Q. How long did the conversation last?

23 A. Very short.

24 MR. UMBACH: And, Clayton, is it your

25 position that I can’t go into that conversation


1 because it’s privileged, attorney-client

2 privilege?

3 MR. CONNORS: Yes. It would be a

4 communication with a member my staff at that

5 point on, and especially when she was — I

6 mean, it would be like me calling your office

7 and trying to talk to one of your staff to

8 obtain information about something.

9 MR. UMBACH: Okay. I don’t know the

10 answer to that, but —

11 Q. (By Mr. Umbach) Had you retained a

12 lawyer —

13 A. No.

14 Q. — to represent you at the time you

15 spoke with paralegal?

16 A. No. No.

17 Q. Were you seeking legal advice when you

18 spoke to the paralegal?

19 A. No, not legal advice from a paralegal.

20 No.

21 MR. UMBACH: Clayton, your position is

22 still the same?

23 MR. CONNORS: Uh-huh.

24 MR. UMBACH: “Yes”?

25 MR. CONNORS: Yes.


1 (Defendant’s Exhibit 10 marked for

2 identification.)

3 Q. (By Mr. Umbach) Take a look at No. 10.

4 A. No. 10? Oh, Exhibit 10. Okay.

5 Q. You filed a charge with the Florida

6 Commission, correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Did you have — were you represented by

9 a lawyer when you did that?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And did — so did you have the

12 assistance of counsel when you filed that?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Defendant’s Exhibit 10, this is the

15 write-up you received for the safe incident; is that

16 right?

17 A. The paper shredder, yes.

18 Q. Paper shredder. Okay. And your

19 signature is on the second page?

20 A. Yes.

21 (Defendant’s Exhibit 11 marked for

22 identification.)

23 A. This is the one that Terry came to me

24 four days later and told me she didn’t want me to

25 leave because of it.


1 Q. Is Defendant’s Exhibit 11 a document

2 that reflects you being put on probation?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. It has your signature on the second

5 page?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And who informed you of your probation?

8 A. I worked the night before, and

9 Terry Sutek told me she wanted to talk with me, along

10 with Libby Kitchens.

11 Q. Do you remember anything specific,

12 anything at all, that they said when they put you on

13 probation?

14 A. That they said? Nothing specific. Just

15 this. (Indicating).

16 Q. Did they give you this document?

17 A. They give it to me to read. Wouldn’t

18 let me have a copy.

19 Q. Did you all discuss it?

20 A. I had just worked 13 hours two nights in

21 a row. I was pretty exhausted.

22 Q. Did you all discuss it?

23 A. Minimally, uh-huh.

24 Q. You were given an opportunity to read

25 it?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. What’s ETO?

3 A. Emergency treatment order.

4 Q. Under documented history, it says,

5 “January 12, 2013, we received

10 A. I wasn’t made aware of any of this until

11 that morning that I was put on probation. None of it.

12 Q. So before being put on probation, you

13 had no idea two clients had complained about you?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Were you shown the grievances filed by

16 the clients?

17 A. I asked. And no.

18 Q. You’ve never seen them?

19 A. Never saw them.

20 Q. Did Ms. Kitchens and Ms. Sutek share any

21 information with you about the nature of those

22 complaints?

23 A. No. No.

24 Q. Then it says, “February 6, 2013, a

25 manual hold and ETO were initiated by Melissa without


1 proper documentation.” Do you know what that’s

2 referring to?

3 A. No, I don’t, and I don’t believe it’s

4 true.

5 Q. Do you remember any discussion with

6 Ms. Kitchens or Ms. Sutek about that —

7 A. None.

8 Q. — in the meeting?

9 A. None.

10 Q. It says on, “February 7 Melissa did not

11 follow protocol for transferring client to emergency

12 room.” Do you know anything about that?

13 A. Yes. I called the It was not

14 critical. I can’t remember why the client had to go

15 over. I tried three times to contact the charge

16 nurse, Matt. I was unable to get through to Matt. I

17 was working both units. I had to go out to the front

18 and a handle situation on the unit, and I did not call

19 Matt again.

20 Q. When it says “follow the protocol,” what

21 is that referring to?

22 A. I don’t even know if there is a

23 protocol. If there is, it was new. I had — well,

24 that’s irrelevant.

25 Q. You sounded like you were giving me a


1 justification for the way you did things that night;

2 is that correct?

3 A. Justification?

4 Q. Uh-huh. You —

5 A. No. That’s what happened.

6 Q. That’s what happened?

7 A. You can’t follow a protocol if the

8 person you’re calling doesn’t answer the phone, that

9 you’re suppose to call per protocol.

10 Q. So what was the protocol?

11 A. Protocol is call the charge nurse at the

12 Baptist Hospital Emergency Department and let them

13 know. I tried to call three times. If I recall, I

14 documented that. I got called to the front, and I did

15 not call him back, and I accept that. I told him

16 that’s what happened, yeah. That was —

17 Q. So you acknowledged that —

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. — the protocol was not followed on this

20 occasion?

21 A. Yes. I didn’t know about a protocol,

22 but yes, I acknowledge that I never got in touch with

23 Matt. I acknowledge that.

24 Q. And Matt worked in the ER?

25 A. Yes.


1 Q. Then it says, “February 4 to 5, 2013,

2 seven clients were held in triage for excessive wait

3 time. Of the seven clients, six did not have charts

4 made after admission and no orders were taken off.”

5 Do you acknowledge any responsibility for that?

6 A. No. Not only that, but I asked about

7 it, and I asked for the names, and I asked to see

8 which charts they were, and I was told it was not

9 relevant. No, I do not.

10 Q. Who said it was “not relevant”?

11 A. Huh?

12 Q. Who said it was not relevant?

13 A. Terry.

14 Q. Did she say not relevant or it —

15 A. She said this is — yes, it’s not

16 relevant, that I didn’t need to know which ones. Yes.

17 Q. Did you feel like you needed to know the

18 names of clients?

19 A. I needed to know for my own knowledge. If I had

20 done something like that, I wanted to know it.

21 Q. But why was it important for you to know

22 the names of the patients?

23 A. Because that’s the only way I can

24 identify which ones — which ones were held for an

25 excessive wait time. That was the only way I would


1 know if this even happened. I was never provided any

2 information, never told about any of this, if it

3 happened, and I don’t believe it did.

4 Q. Is the amount of time somebody is in

5 triage — is that documented?

6 A. That is documented. That is

7 documented — when was this? February 4th and 5th?

8 Documented — they do have a triage log. I don’t

9 believe this. It’s just — uh-uh. And what is

10 “excessive wait time”?

11 Q. Well, I want to be sure I get an answer

12 to this question.

13 A. Okay.

14 Q. The amount of time somebody’s in triage

15 is documented, right?

16 A. It is supposed to be documented on the

17 triage log by the tech. Sometimes it was; sometimes

18 it wasn’t.

19 Q. But if it is documented, then Ms. Sutek

20 could easily see how long somebody is in triage before

21 they are admitted?

22 A. And she would have shown me.

23 Q. Right. But your position is it just

24 didn’t happen?

25 A. If it happened, I wanted to know when it


1 happened and how it happened. If — I wanted to know.

2 I was told that wasn’t important. It wasn’t relevant,

3 that she had the information. That’s what she told

4 me.

5 Q. You understood after receiving this and

6 reviewing this probationary form that if you failed to

7 correct the issues that were identified that you could

8 be terminated?

9 A. Yes. But there never has been any

10 discussion of any of this ever before with any other

11 nurse manager, never issues of this nature, and I

12 didn’t know about any of this until that morning. It

13 was my first information. No written warnings, no

14 verbal warnings other than the safe, nothing.

15 Q. Did you ever tell — a client and a

16 patient are the same thing?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Did you ever tell a patient that you

19 weren’t going to help them because they were in

20 alcohol detox?

21 A. Never.

22 Q. Would that be an appropriate thing to

23 say?

24 A. That would be inappropriate. I mean,

25 I’m a…


1 Q. Did Ms. Sutek ever counsel you about

2 tardiness?

3 A. No. No, she never did.

4 Q. And so if Ms. Sutek documented that she

5 did so on January 17th ’13, is that just made up?

6 A. I don’t know.

7 Q. Take a look at this document. It’s Bate

8 No. LCI 00421. We have a couple of attachments to it.

9 Let me just show you LCI 00421.

10 Have you ever seen that document?

11 A. I don’t recall it, no, never.

12 Q. It says — I’ll just represent to you,

13 it’s my understanding that Ms. Sutek wrote this, for

14 whatever it’s worth. It says “Terry.” And it says,

15 “I met with Melissa Brown to discuss tardiness. I

16 reviewed expectation of arriving to work at 10:45.

17 She was instructed to start recording about 10:50.

18 Melissa verbalized understanding of expectation.” Do

19 you remember such a discussion?

20 A. No, I do not.

21 Q. Do you —

22 A. I never received this.

23 Q. I know you didn’t receive this. Are you

24 saying that Ms. Sutek did not have that discussion

25 with you?


1 A. I don’t recall.

2 Q. So you can’t deny that it happened. You

3 just are saying you don’t remember; is that correct?

4 A. I don’t remember.

5 Q. I want to get your agreement on this.

6 We agree that you’re not denying it, correct?

7 A. I don’t remember.

8 Q. So if Ms. Sutek gets on the witness

9 stand with this document in front of her and says, “I

10 had this discussion with Melissa Brown,” you’re not

11 going to then say, “Oh, no, you didn’t,” are you?

12 A. I don’t remember.

13 Q. And so when we get in front of a jury,

14 that’s going to be your testimony: “I don’t

15 remember”?

16 A. I do not remember her talking to me

17 about this. This would have been —

18 Wait a minute. I came to work at

19 6:45 p.m., not 10:45. Grievances —

20 Q. But then you were even later, right?

21 A. Yeah, I was late.

22 Okay. “Attend to client’s needs and

23 document in chart.” Documentation is one of my strong

24 points.

25 Q. So you don’t remember it?


1 A. No.

2 Q. But you’re not denying it, are you?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Then it says, “We also spoke about

5 grievances placed on 1/12 of ’13” concerning your

6 interaction with clients.

7 A. No. No, that did not happen.

8 Q. So —

9 A. The other I don’t remember, but this one

10 I can tell you absolutely did not happen.

11 Q. Do you remember an incident where you

12 took a client to the emergency department and did not

13 stay with them?

14 A. RNs never took a client to the emergency

15 department.

16 Q. So you never did that?

17 A. No RN ever did, no.

18 Q. Who is Tim Byrd?

19 A. I have no idea. Who is he?

20 Q. I don’t know. Security manager for

21 Baptist Hospital, so if he says you brought a patient

22 to the emergency department, that would be false?

23 A. False. I don’t even know how to drive

24 the van, and I’m not covered to do it.

25 Q. So when you take a patient to the


1 emergency department, you do that in a vehicle that’s

2 not —

3 A. A tech, a behavior tech, takes them.

4 (Defendant’s Exhibit 12 marked for

5 identification.)

6 Q. Take a look at Defendant’s Exhibit 12.

7 A. Okay.

8 Q. Is Defendant’s Exhibit 12 the Lakeview

9 policy about transporting clients — transporting them

10 from the ASU?

11 A. Right.

12 Q. You had seen this before?

13 A. I had seen the basic one, but I know

14 that it was updated, and I saw the updated one, which

15 is information about the seating and where people

16 should sit, et cetera, et cetera, and the hand-off and

17 all that, yeah. And what happened, our tech would

18 stay with them up to an hour or until released by the

19 charge nurse over at Baptist.

20 Q. Do you recall an incident where

21 Lynne Johnson spoke to you about you and Brenda being

22 outside smoking?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And does January 28, 2013, sound

25 correct?


22 RN on the shift to be outside smoking?

23 A. It happened. We’re not far from the

24 unit. We’re right there. There is a door and a

25 little admission — a little, tiny room and then the


18 A. I had a very violent client that had

19 just been removed by the unit by law enforcement who

20 had threatened me, among other things, and I was a
21 little upset, and I went outside, and came out.

22 But we had techs that I trusted completely. But Lynne

23 being Lynne…

24 What was the date on that?

25 Q. January 28, 2013. 168

21 A. They knew I was right there. They knew

22 right where I was.

23 Q. You agree that by law —

24 A. No. There is no law.

25 Q. There is no law?


1 A. No law, no. The law says that the RN

2 cannot leave the facility, the grounds. Like when I

3 had to clock out for lunch, I was not — I could go

4 outside, go anywhere I wanted to go, but I could not

5 leave the ASU grounds.

6 Q. Were you clocked out when you were

1 Lynne showed up, and that’s what happened. We were

2 not out there 20 minutes if that’s what she said. It

3 was one of those really, really bad nights.

4 Q. Take a look at document LCI 000427.

5 A. Why would I say I don’t agree with the

6 policy? What email received? The one from the guy

7 over at ER? It must have been because of the date. I

8 remember she showed me that letter. I knew about

9 that. She was laughing about it.

10 Q. She showed you an email?

11 A. Yeah. The email from the — I guess it

12 was the supervisor. From somebody — the one over at

13 the — said that I left a patient over there in the

14 ER, and I don’t even go over there. But she never

15 said anything to me about — uh-uh. I never said I

16 didn’t agree with the policy. This is — this is the

17 28th. This is two days after I was hit. Four days

18 after I was hit. I never had anything like this in my

19 time at Lakeview until after I was punched in the head

20 and asked for help. I never saw this.

21 Q. Okay. So you think she created this

22 because you filed charges against a patient?

23 A. I think it’s entirely possible the paper

24 trail was started, yes, because it never happened

25 before all the time I’d been there. Seven years,


1 never. Nothing like that.

2 (Defendant’s Exhibit 13 marked for

3 identification.)

4 Q. Look at Defendant’s Exhibit 13. Is that

5 the email you were just referring to?

6 A. Tim Byrd’s the supervisor?

7 (Pause in proceedings.)

8 I never took a patient to the emergency

9 room. No, I never took a patient to the emergency

10 room. Bottom line.

11 Q. Did Ms. Sutek show you this email?

12 A. She did and we laughed. She laughed.

13 She laughed at the time. She said, “Look at this.

14 Look how silly this is. They actually think we send

15 nurses over there.” But that was before. The day

16 after, yeah.

17 Q. Your testimony is you never told

18 Ms. Sutek that you disagreed with the company —

19 A. No. No. Never.

20 (Defendant’s Exhibit 14 marked for

21 identification.)

22 Q. I’m handing you Defendant’s Exhibit 14.

23 A. We don’t even have call lights. This

24 was not what happened, and you have — you have

25 documentation of what happened, and it’s my nursing


1 notes, what happened.

2 Q. In your nursing notes?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. What are your nursing notes?

5 A. Nursing notes is a documentation that

6 you do on every patient whenever an incident happens.

7 Q. Are the nursing notes what’s attached to

8 this?

25 A. Yes.


1 Q.

9 (Defendant’s Exhibit 15 marked for

10 identification.)

11 Q. Defendant’s Exhibit 15 is the FMLA

12 paperwork that you complete or your physician

13 completed?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And your request for leave was approved,

16 right?

17 A. Yes.

18 (Defendant’s Exhibit 16 marked for

19 identification.)

20 Q. And 16 is the Fitness for Duty form

21 where your doctor said it was okay for you to come

22 back to work?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. After you were put on probation, you

25 asked for a copy of the probation document?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And in sum you were told that per the

3 company policy you couldn’t have a copy, but you could

4 come see it; is that right?

5 A. That’s not the way it went. I called

6 and spoke with Marvic Goodspeed, who asked me if I had

7 signed anything when I told her I was put on

8 probation. I said, “Yes.”

9 “Well,” she said, you don’t have to sign

10 these things.” And I said I wanted to get a copy of

11 this. She said, “What you need to do is call” — I

12 don’t remember his name — “and go in there and he’ll

13 give you a copy of it.” That’s what she told me.

14 So when I called him, he was out that

15 week, and I was kind of desperate to get a copy of it,

16 so I wrote Dennis Goodspeed, who I think is now the

17 president. I think he was vice president at the time.

18 I wanted to see a — I wanted to see it because I was

19 so tired of —

20 Q. And you did go see it?

21 A. Eventually, yes.

22 Q. And you made some notes?

23 A. Yes. I copied the whole thing by hand.

24 That hurt.

25 (Defendant’s Exhibit 17 marked for


1 identification.)

2 Q. And Defendant’s Exhibit 17 is your email

3 to Mr. Goodspeed?

4 A. Yes.

5 (Pause in proceedings.)

6 That’s right.

7 Q. While you were on probation, you met

8 with Ms. Sutek every two weeks; is that right?

9 A. No. We were supposed to, but there —

10 the last time she — we didn’t have a schedule, and I

11 called her to scheduled it, schedule the last one, and

12 that’s when I was terminated. I thought it was our

13 two-week meeting, but no, we did not meet every two

14 weeks.

15 Q. Did not meet every two weeks?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Do you remember how long you probably

18 did meet?

19 A. Probably every two, two and a half or

20 three weeks. Something like that.

21 Q. So it was not exactly two weeks?

22 A. No. It wasn’t precisely.

23 Q. Every two to three weeks?

24 A. Yeah.

25 Q. Were those meetings helpful to you?


1 A. No. Well, I was feeling very positive.

2 I thought things were going well.

3 Q. Did you say no, they were not helpful?

4 A. No, I didn’t answer. In retrospect, no,

5 they weren’t helpful, but at the time I thought they

6 were helpful, so at the time, yes.

7 Q. And so in retrospect what do you mean

8 that they were not helpful?

9 A. She told me I was doing better and

10 things were going well and keep it up, keep up the

11 good work, that kind of thing. I never knew what to

12 believe coming from her. It hadn’t been two months

13 since that she told me I was one of her best nurses,

14 so who knows. I thought the probation was going well,

15 that I would be off probation. There was no

16 indication I wouldn’t be.

17 I have to retract something I said. It

18 was at the meeting that she put me on probation the

19 second time that I had to call and schedule with

20 Terry. I called her and said we haven’t met. We

21 need to meet. And she said, “Okay. Can we meet

22 tomorrow?”

23 I couldn’t do it. I had an appointment,

24 and I think we met the following Monday or something

25 like that, but I called her to schedule that meeting.


1 She didn’t call me, and that was when I was put on

2 probation the second time.

3 Q. By that do you mean your probation was

4 extended?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Were you told why it was extended?

7 A. At that point I thought we were meeting

8 to discuss coming off probation so —

9 Q. Were you told why it was extended?

10 A. Not — I’m sure that I was. I’m sure —

11 the one that I remember was there was one document

12 that wasn’t signed or something like that.

13 Q. What were you told was the reason why?

14 A. I don’t remember specifically. I do

15 remember that. I do remember there was some documents

16 that hadn’t been signed. They were typical documents,

17 but I don’t remember right now. I would have to see

18 it again to know because I was pretty upset.

19 Q. See what again?

20 A. The list of allegations when I was put

21 on probation the second time —

22 Q. To determine —

23 A. Specifically what was said, I never went

24 and got a copy of that. I know we met after I had CPI

25 class that day. I know she said I was being put on


1 probation again. That’s all I remember pretty much.

2 (Defendant’s Exhibit 18 marked for

3 identification.)

4 Q. Look at No. 18.


13 Q. Your understanding — or you tell me if

14 this is correct, that the incident that led to your

15 termination, or the incident that happened most recent

16 in relation to your termination, was a complaint from

17 a client about how long they had to wait before being

18 admitted; is that right?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And did you know that that client filed

21 a grievance?

22 A. I was told the day I was terminated. I

23 wasn’t told the contents of the grievance. I wasn’t

24 given an opportunity to respond.

25 Q. So you never saw the grievance?


1 A. No.

2 Q. And you were told May 16, 2013?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And present in addition to you were

5 Ms. Kitchens, Dr. Josephs, and Ms. Sutek; is that

6 right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. How long did it take — did it take —

9 did the meeting last?

10 A. Not long. Five minutes, if that.

11 Q. What do you recall being said?

12 A. I recall Terry saying we decided to

13 separate. First, she said some — that’s really all I

14 recall, “We have decided to separate.” Because I

15 thought I was there for my meeting regarding the

16 probation, a routine meeting, so I remember that, and

17 then Dr. Josephs said to me, “I’m here because I know

18 it’s difficult when there is a separation, and I’m

19 here just to make sure you’re okay.”

20 Q. Do you remember anything else that was

21 said?

22 A. I remember the last thing Dr. Josephs

23 said to me was I gave horrible, horrible, care, which

24 is absolutely untrue. Absolutely untrue.

25 Q. And he was referring to the patient that


1 was not admitted for some time?

2 A. Right. She was not admitted because I

3 sent her to the emergency room for very valid reasons.

4 She needed to be evaluated prior to admission. That

5 was my responsibility as the admitting RN. It wasn’t

6 critical, it wasn’t crucial, but she needed to be

7 evaluated.

8 Q. Anything else you remember about the

9 termination meeting?

10 A. No. No.

11 Q. Were you told why you were being

12 terminated?

13 A. That a patient had filed a complaint

14 over that weekend. Yes. Yes. But I was not given an

15 opportunity to respond. I was not shown the

16 complaint. None of that. The only comment was from

17 Dr. Josephs, yes.

18 Q. Anything else said about why you were

19 terminated?

20 A. Not that I recall, no.

21 Q. Did you say anything?

22 A. What could I say?

23 Q. Did you say anything?

24 A. Not that I recall except good-bye.

25 (Defendant’s Exhibit 18 [sic] marked for


1 identification.)

2 Q. Look at Defendant’s Exhibit 17.

3 Actually, it should be 18.

4 A. What’s this?

5 Q. That’s 17.

6 This is 18 (indicating).

7 A. Okay.

8 Q. This is the paperwork that was completed

9 following you being hit by the patient; is that right?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And this accident report or employee

12 report, did you fill that out?

13 A. I did not fill out the near miss. I was

14 told to — I filled this part out, yes. But when I

15 talked with the — I can’t even remember her name, the

16 lady that worked — because I called her like we are

17 supposed to do per policy. I called her at home, and

18 she said, “Since you’re okay and you didn’t go to the

19 hospital, we will put this down as a near miss.” And

20 now I see that’s circled, so yes, I filled this out.

21 Q. Did you got any medical treatment after

22 being hit?

23 A. No. I didn’t think I needed it. There

24 was nobody to come in for me anyway.

25 (Defendant’s Exhibit 20 marked for


1 identification.)

2 Q. Here you go. No. 20. Have you seen

3 this policy before, No. 20?

4 A. The CARF standards, aren’t they? I

5 don’t know who these minimum license staffing — the

6 standards, who wrote those.

7 Q. What do you —

8 A. I have seen this before, yes.

9 Q. And you saw it while you worked at

10 Lakeview?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Look on the second page, where it talks

13 about minimum staffing pattern?

14 A. Right.

15 Q. And this says you’ve got to have at

16 least — either two registered nurses or an LPN and an

17 RN. Do you agree that that’s what it says?

18 A. That’s what it says.

19 Q. Do you agree with this policy?

20 A. No. Neither did Marvic Goodspeed, the

21 director and — anybody. Nobody agreed with it.

22 This is the state standard, as I understand it.

23 That’s what the state requires.

24 Q. Are you aware of this policy or this

25 standard being violated at any time while you worked


1 at the ASU?

2 A. Not this, no.

3 Q. So —

4 A. No.

5 Q. On all of the shifts that you worked in

6 the ASU, there was always at least one RN and one LPN?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And sometimes there were two RNs,

9 correct?

10 A. Right, but an LPN is not the same, not

11 trained the same or educated the same as an RN.

12 Q. I may be a dumb lawyer, but I knew that.

13 (Defendant’s Exhibit 21 marked for

14 identification.)

15 Q. Look at 21, please.

16 Did you just laugh?

17 A. No, I didn’t laugh.

18 Q. What was that noise you made?

19 A. I think it was a grunt.

20 Q. A grunt?

21 A. (Nods head.)

22 Q. And you grunted when I handed you the

23 Lakeview EEO nondiscrimination and harassment policy?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. What made you grunt?


1 A. “Lakeview will not tolerate

2 discrimination or harassment in the workplace.”

3 Q. Why did you grunt?

4 A. Because I know I was harassed. I know

5 three other nurses said they were harassed, that it

6 was a hostile workplace environment. None of us —

7 nothing was ever done.

8 Q. But anyway, this is the policy that you

9 said that you had seen when you were at Lakeview,

10 right?

11 A. Uh-huh. This looks like the one on the

12 wall. Yes, I’ve seen this. Yes.

13 Q. Okay. And as I understand it, you did

14 complain about working in a hostile environment?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. I think it was on March 13th, right?

17 A. You’re talking about the meeting with

18 human resources?

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. That was actually May 13th. It was

21 May 13th.

22 Q. Correct.

23 (Defendant’s Exhibit 22 marked for

24 identification.)

25 Look at No. 23 [sic].


1 Q. Defendant’s Exhibit 22.

2 A. Okay.

3 (Pause in proceedings.)

4 Okay.

5 Q. Had you ever seen this document before?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Does this appear to be an account of

8 what took place in the May 14, 2013, meeting?

9 A. This happened, but it went further. I

10 mean, the hostile work environment was discussed by

11 definitely. That’s why she left. That’s why

12 she said she left. didn’t say much because

13 and oh, yeah, definitely said

14 it was a hostile work environment. She was there

15 because she’d been by Terry of

16 stuff that was not true, and that’s why we went over

17 there. was completely upset.

18 Q. Is this — at the top it says “in

19 attendance.” Do you agree that those were the people

20 who were there?

21 A. Yes — no.

22 Wait a minute. I guess he was. I know

23 Marvic was there. I don’t know who wrote this, but I

24 don’t think I ever said I was in the process of

25 challenging probation. I was on my second round of


1 probation. What’s to challenge?

2 Q. I want to be sure. Do you agree that

3 the people in attendance that — the people listed at

4 the top as being in attendance —

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. — were, in fact, there?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And was there anybody who was there

9 that’s not listed there?

10 A. No.

11 Q. And in the middle it talks about what

12 you said. It says “Melissa stated.”

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Is that an accurate account of what you

15 stated?

16 A. Other than in the process of challenging

17 probation, yes.

18 Q. So — and so that — what would — what

19 did you say about probation? If this is —

20 A. If anything, because I don’t think these

21 people even knew I was on probation. I don’t know.

22 “In the process of challenging that,” what does that

23 mean?

24 Q. So you don’t think —

25 A. No.


1 Q. — that’s the way you said it?

2 A. No.

3 Q. And you don’t recall the subject of

4 probation even coming up?

5 A. No, I don’t.

6 Q. Is there anything you recall saying

7 that’s not stated here?

8 A. I supported definitely, and I

9 stated the things that had been written about were wrong.

10 I had never perceived those issues with

11 performance issues or character issues. And that was

12 the main thrust of the meeting. That was why we were

13 there, and then it gradually segued. Other than the

14 process of challenging probation, that’s accurate.

15 (Defendant’s Exhibit 23 marked for

16 identification.)

17 Q. Let me show you Defendant’s Exhibit 23.

18 And so my question is, did each of those

19 pages that comprise Defendant’s Exhibit 23 have your

20 signature on them?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Do you recall getting a copy of the

23 Lakeview handbook?

24 A. Yes.

25 (Defendant’s Exhibit 24 marked for


1 identification.)

2 Q. Is Defendant’s Exhibit 24 a copy of the

3 handbook that you received?

4 A. No.

5 Wait a minute. I don’t remember if

6 Bembry was the CEO when I was hired or not. That’s

7 the only thing that is probably different. Otherwise,

8 yes, I’ve seen the handbook, so yes.

9 Q. Other than the May 14, 2013, meeting,

10 did you complain to any member of management or human

11 resources about a hostile work environment?

12 A. In the letter that I wrote to Libby, I

13 let her know that I felt like Terry was setting me up

14 to fail because she wouldn’t listen to me about the

15 safety and security concerns that I had.

16 And — I’m sorry — what was the

17 question?

18 Q. Yeah. I want to be sure I know about

19 all the times you complained about a hostile work

20 environment, and I know about the May 14 meeting, and

21 I know about the letter that you wrote to Libby.

22 A. Right.

23 Q. Libby Kitchens, right?

24 A. Yes. She was the director.

25 Q. And I just want to be sure that’s it.


1 A. That’s it. That’s it.

2 Q. Who were the younger employees that you

3 think were treated better than you?

4 A. And I don’t recall how

5 old he was, but Those were the two

6 that reportedly took over my shift. was a new

7 nurse when I got there. I trained him. He is 38.

8 was — I’m not sure how old was, but

9 he was younger than I am.

10 Q. How were they treated better than you?

11 A. I was terminated and they were kept.

12 They are both men, they are both younger. I’m an

13 older woman. I’d say they were treated a little

14 better than me. Although has since

15 been terminated and quit.

16 Q. Are you aware of anything

17 did while he was employed at Lakeview

18 that he should have been terminated for?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Are you aware of anything that

21 did while he worked at Lakeview that he

22 should have been terminated for?

23 A. No. But I don’t think I should have

24 been terminated either.

25 Q. It’s my understanding that you are


1 claiming in this case that — at least, in part, that

2 you were terminated because you complained that

3 Lakeview was violating the law. Am I right about

4 that? Are you claiming that in this case?

5 A. Violating the law?

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. OSHA rules and regulations.

8 Q. And that has to do with the staffing,

9 right?

10 A. That has to do with the safety and the

11 security. Not necessarily with staffing. Primarily

12 with security.

13 Q. Security.

14 A. The only security, as I’ve said, at the

15 time was a little 75-year-old man compared to Baptist

16 Hospital who has six, seven, eight security officers

17 right there in the ER. We had no security. We had to

18 call law enforcement. I don’t know. I don’t think

19 safety is a priority in ASU. It’s just not.

20 Q. When your complaints said — I mean, let

21 me just read it. It says, “Plaintiff,” which is you,

22 “reported this lack of coverage and defendant’s

23 failure to free the workplace of all recognized

24 hazards and its failure to comply with the mandatory

25 health and safety and welfare standards in violation


1 of the OSHA or any other applicable state or federal

2 rule of law or regulation.”

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And it’s that part about “other law,”

5 applicable state or federal law, that I want to ask

6 you about first. Are you saying that you complained

7 about anything other than OSHA?

8 A. When I wrote that letter, the only

9 person I was complaining to was Libby Kitchens.

10 Q. But I want to be sure what laws you

11 say — you —

12 A. As far as — there is apparently a

13 Whistleblower Law in Florida.

14 Q. Right.

15 A. As well to protect the person who says

16 we have no security; we don’t have enough staffing,

17 you’re not listening to what we say; you’re not making

18 certain we know that when patients come in they are

19 violent; we are not told ahead of time that they are

20 violent; we have to look it up on the internet.

21 That’s sad.

22 Q. Let me show you here your amended

23 complaint.

24 A. Okay.

25 Q. Look at paragraph 18 on the third page.


1 A. I definitely told her it was unsafe and

2 dangerous and we needed security, and as I understand,

3 those are violations or OSHA violations when they do

4 not respond whatsoever and make no effort to improve

5 it.

6 Q. Is that a violation of anything other

7 than OSHA that you know about?

8 A. No, I don’t know. I honestly don’t

9 know. I’m not an attorney. All I know is I tried to

10 correct a dangerous situation.

11 Q. Are you saying that Lakeview violated

12 any law that has to do with the staffing at the ASU?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Are you saying that Lakeview violated

15 any law that has to do with security at ASU?

16 A. Yes.

17 Law? I don’t know if there is a law

18 that directly applies to that. I’m not an attorney.

19 Q. Okay. Then you can’t — it would be

20 hard for you to claim that the company — Lakeview

21 violated a law with regard to security, then, wouldn’t

22 it?

23 Are you looking at your lawyer?

24 A. Yes, I am.

25 MR. CONNORS: You’ve got to answer the


1 question if you can. If you don’t know, you

2 don’t know.

3 A. I don’t know.

4 Q. (By Mr. Umbach) So as you sit here, you

5 can’t tell me whether —

6 Let me ask you this way: Do you think

7 Lakeview violated some law regarding security?

8 A. I don’t know. This is not just an OSHA

9 issue. It’s a whistleblower too. Protection.

10 Q. I don’t recall seeing anything in

11 writing where you complained about security. I’ve

12 seen staffing, but I could have missed it.

13 A. You missed it.

14 Q. Where did I miss it?

15 A. I don’t know. I’ve got a stack like

16 that I’ve written.

17 Q. Where is it?

18 A. It’s in there. Not in here though.

19 Q. Where is it?

20 A. I haven’t reviewed it, to tell you the

21 truth, but absolutely, yes.

22 Q. Have we looked at some piece of paper

23 where you complained about security?

24 A. I would have go back and read it, but I

25 know that I did because — wait a minute.


1 We complained about security in that

2 meeting on March 12th of 2012 that was brought up by,

3 like I said, the tech. I don’t know if I said

4 something or not, but we said that we needed more

5 security. Why didn’t we have security like Baptist

6 did since we’re both under the same umbrella? And the

7 response from Dr. Josephs was, “If you’re concerned

8 with your safety, this isn’t the job for you.” So he

9 pretty much cut everybody off. I kept saying —

10 Q. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. This is

11 where spoke up?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. My recollection is I asked you, did you

14 say —

15 A. I don’t know. I don’t know.

16 Q. And so we’re still trying to figure out

17 if there is anything in writing where you complained

18 about security.

19 A. I can look through my stuff, but time

20 after time we all did.

21 Q. What stuff are you talking about? Is

22 there any stuff you haven’t —

23 A. It’s not here.

24 Q. — given to your lawyer?

25 A. No, no. I’d have to go back through all


1 of this again.

2 No, that’s not what I’m talking about.

3 Q. Do you think you complained about

4 security in your letter to Libby Kitchens?

5 A. I don’t know. I’m going to have to read

6 it.

7 Q. By golly, we’ve got it. Let’s look at

8 it.

9 A. Where is it?

10 Q. Number 8.

11 A. This was primarily about staffing.

12 Q. That’s my recollection.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. So that’s about staffing; not security,

15 right?

16 A. On May 12th it was about security, and

17 Broderick was our speaker.

18 Q. Again, that’s the one when you don’t

19 remember saying anything; is that right?

20 A. I was there.

21 Q. But you don’t remember — you can’t say

22 under oath whether you said anything in the meeting or

23 not, can you?

24 A. No, I can’t.

25 Q. And we’re still trying to figure out —


1 A. But I have before told them.

2 Q. — if you ever said in writing that you

3 had a problem with the security at Lakeview.

4 A. This was about the staffing during the

5 time that I was on probation, which was subpar.

6 That’s what my letter to Libby is about. That’s what

7 I thought it was about. As far as the other, I don’t

8 know.

9 Q. That’s all I’m trying find out. Do

10 you —

11 A. I didn’t keep anything that I wrote or

12 anything like that.

13 Q. You can’t identify for us today —

14 A. Right.

15 Q. — any written complaint you made about

16 security?

17 A. Right. No written.

18 Q. Can you say under oath that you ever

19 complained to Libby Kitchens about security?

20 A. I know that I did. I don’t know when.

21 I can’t say when. I know we had several discussions.

22 We had — I had a discussion with Dr. Josephs, Libby,

23 and Terry after a staff meeting about security. I

24 most certainly did. I did. All three of them.

25 Q. And that was Kitchens, Sutek, and who?


1 A. Dr. Josephs. It was after a staff

2 meeting. The four of us were there. We were

3 discussing taking patients over to the ER and the

4 procedure for that and security and the fact they had

5 so much security, and I said, “Well, if we had” — I

6 said, “I certainly wish we had security like they do.”

7 And if I recall, I asked them why, that we didn’t? I

8 said, “We’re under the same umbrella. They’ve got all

9 of the security. We have one little man. Why?”

10 Q. The 75-year-old man, right, same guy?

11 A. He might have been 80. I don’t know how

12 old he was. But yes, I most certainly did. I asked

13 all three of them about that, and I also told them

14 during the same meeting that if we had a piece of

15 paper, I suggested how about we make a document and

16 when we take a patient over there, that we have the

17 nurse over at Baptist Hospital sign when they take

18 over care of the patient. I remember that was the

19 same time we discussed that, and they said no, that’s

20 too much paperwork.

21 But I asked them at that time about

22 security and why they had so much security and we had

23 essentially none. I said it. I can’t tell you

24 exactly when and where, I can’t tell you exactly when

25 that meeting was except that it was right before I was


1 put on probation. That much I do know. It was right

2 after Terry was made nurse manager. I did not apply

3 for that position. I didn’t want it. But it was

4 right after that, within a week I would say, at a

5 staff meeting. I’m pretty vocal.

6 Yes, I most certainly did.

7 Q. Did you get a response?

8 A. No, no. I did not get a response.

9 Q. And by security, what did you think —

10 what did you want? Did you want another guard? Did

11 you want an armed guard? Did you want a bigger guard?

12 Did you want a younger guard? What did you want?

13 A. I wanted a guard like — I wanted at

14 least one guard like they have at Baptist Hospital, who

15 was dedicated to the unit, who could come to the unit

16 and intervene, interact, if he needed to so that we

17 wouldn’t have to call law enforcement all time so we

18 would feel safer, the patients would feel safer, and

19 the whole situation would be safer. Even with just

20 one would have made a little difference. They have

21 six or seven over there.

22 Q. You felt like the ASU needed a guard?

23 A. A dedicated security guard.

24 Q. How is that different from this fellow

25 that you’re talking about?


1 A. Lakeview is a very large campus, and

2 they have one security guard I think through

3 Wackenhut, or at least it used to be. That guard is

4 responsible for multiple buildings, all the acreage

5 and all the buildings at Lakeview, which is

6 probably — I’d estimate six acres, seven acres, maybe

7 more. He or she is responsible at night time for all

8 those buildings.

9 Q. There was a Lakeview guard, but he was

10 not dedicated to the ASU?

11 A. Right, yes. Right, yes.

12 Q. Any other occasions that you recall

13 complaining about security to either Sutek, Kitchens,

14 Josephs? Is it Lynne Johnson?

15 A. I —

16 Q. Any other occasions?

17 A. I never spoke with Lynne very often.

18 I can’t remember any specifically right

19 now, but I know that I brought it up multiple times in

20 staff meetings. Just not in that particular May 12th

21 staff meeting. I think everybody was well aware of

22 how I felt about it and what I thought.

23 Q. If Lakeview offered you your job back at

24 the ASU, would you take it?

25 A. There is no ASU anymore. It’s my


1 understanding.

2 Q. What is there?

3 A. My understanding is they’ve been turned

4 it into a ten-bed substance abuse unit rather than

5 ASU. That’s not the same.

6 Q. Okay. So that’s — so is it your

7 understanding that — I mean, to your knowledge what

8 happened to the people that worked in the ASU? Did

9 they get terminated?

10 A. I don’t know. This is very recent.

11 Very recent.

12 Q. Okay.

13 A. That is my understanding. This is what

14 I’ve been told. I don’t have it in writing. I

15 haven’t read anything anywhere. That’s my

16 understanding that there are no more dedicated

17 psychiatric beds at ASU. That it’s all going to be a

18 ten-bed detox unit. That may be. Who knows.

19 Q. Well, if the job existed today as it did

20 when you were there, would you take it?

21 MR. CONNORS: Object to the form of the

22 question. I mean, technically you’re

23 negotiating with my client without —

24 MR. UMBACH: I promise you I’m not going

25 to do that.


1 Q. (By Mr. Umbach) He doesn’t like my

2 question.

3 MR. CONNORS: No, I don’t.

4 Q. (By Mr. Umbach) Look, let me ask it this

5 way: You said you retired. Are you trying to come

6 back to work at Lakeview in this lawsuit? Are you

7 going to ask the judge to put you back to work at

8 Lakeview?

9 A. No.

10 Q. I assume that’s because you moved on,

11 you retired?

12 A. I moved on.

13 MR. CONNORS: I like that one.

14 MR. UMBACH: Sometimes lawyers have

15 valid objections.

16 Let’s take a break. I think we’re close

17 to being done.

18 (Break in proceedings.)

19 (Defendant’s Exhibit 18 re-marked as

20 Exhibit 19 for identification.)

21 MR. UMBACH: While we’re on the record,

22 Clayton, I’m going to correct an exhibit

23 number. I labeled the documents relating to

24 the being hit by the patient as 18, and it

25 should have been 19.


1 MR. CONNORS: You’re referring to

2 documents LCI 459 through 464?

3 MR. UMBACH: Correct, yeah. I’m just

4 going to make that change now.

5 Q. (By Mr. Umbach) Ms. Brown, I just have a

6 few more questions. Do you recall something called

7 the “Bright Idea” system at Lakeview?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. What was that?

10 A. It was a system where we put in our

11 bright ideas via computer.

12 Q. It’s like a suggestion box?

13 A. Yeah. Kind of clunky, but yeah.

14 Q. It’s a way for you to provide

15 suggestions about how to improve the place?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Did you ever submit any ideas?

18 A. I did.

19 Q. What were the ideas you submitted?

20 A. I don’t remember precisely. I know that

21 one related to what I said about having the nurse at

22 the emergency room sign for the patient. That’s the

23 way it —

24 Q. It’s a document to hand off?

25 A. Right. A document to hand off. I


1 suggested that multiple times, but it was

2 never implemented while I was there.

3 Q. Do you recall any other ideas you —

4 A. I did. I did. And I don’t recall

5 exactly what they were. I was there seven years.

6 Q. Do you recall there was a corporate

7 compliance hotline?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. In other words, a number you could call

10 and report things. Did you ever use that?

11 A. No. No.

12 Q. Did you ever talk to Dennis Goodspeed

13 about security?

14 A. I don’t know if I did or not. I’d have

15 to read the letter to him and see. I didn’t see him

16 that often. I saw him three times in seven years that

17 I worked there. I didn’t specifically make an

18 appointment, no.

19 Q. Were you the oldest nurse in the ASU?

20 A. No. That would be

21 Q. Who we talked about. Okay. Did anyone

22 ever speak negatively to you about your age?

23 A. General teasing sometimes, but nothing

24 major, no.

25 Q. Anything that offended you?


1 A. No.

2 Q. Anybody ever say anything that was

3 negative or derogatory about your gender?

4 A. No. But did tell me in a

5 staff meeting that he had been hired to be charge

6 nurse on nightshift, and at that time I was charge

7 nurse on nightshift, and I said, “Oh, really. I’m

8 charge nurse on nightshift.”

9 And he said, “Well, that’s what she

10 hired me for. That’s all I can tell you.”

11 And I did go to Terry and I asked her,

12 and she said, “Well, he doesn’t know what he’s talking

13 about.” But lo and behold, I didn’t know.

14 Q. Did anybody say anything to you that

15 was —

16 A. Offensive?

17 Q. — negative or offensive about your

18 gender?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Anybody say anything to you negative or

21 offensive about your age?

22 A. No. Clients.

23 Q. Patients?

24 A. Yeah.

25 Q. Why do you — let me ask you this: Do


1 you think you were terminated because you’re a woman?

2 A. I think the opportunity was there to

3 hire younger men instead of increasing security. Was

4 I fired because I’m a woman? I don’t know. It

5 crossed my mind.

6 Q. Why did that cross your mind?

7 A. Because I’m a woman and I’m older, and I

8 trained one of the replacements. The other one came

9 in and said he already had the job. A younger male,

10 yeah.

11 Q. And I guess I’ll share with you why I

12 ask the question. Your boss was a woman, your boss’s

13 boss was a woman?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And if I’m not correct, the one above

16 her was a woman?

17 A. Mr. Goodspeed, I think.

18 Q. Oh, okay. But at least the first two

19 levels of supervision over you were women?

20 A. Right. But they didn’t work the floor.

21 Q. Uh-huh. Okay.

22 A. And that’s just the thing. It certainly

23 was never said in the open, but hiring male nurses who

24 were younger and more capable of doing restraints and

25 things like that on clients, it was expressed among


1 the staff on multiple occasions that that might be one

2 way to go to increase security since they weren’t

3 going to increase the security that we had, and I

4 didn’t know if that was what was happening or not.

5 Q. Other than the meeting May 14th, I

6 think, did you ever go to HR about any problems you

7 were having?

8 A. Okay. No. Not with Terry, no. I was

9 trying to keep my job.

10 Q. Did you ever go to HR about anything?

11 A. Only one time about another problem I

12 had with another nurse. That’s it.

13 Q. That was before Terry was your

14 supervisor?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Are you claiming that you are still

17 suffering emotional distress from being terminated

18 from Lakeview?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Has it — has your level of distress

21 over being terminated improved since you got let go?

22 A. It’s improved? Well, you mean improved

23 since I was — the day I was terminated —

24 Q. Yes. You understand my question?

25 A. I don’t understand the question.


1 Q. Are you feeling as much emotional

2 distress today over being terminated as you were right

3 after being terminated?

4 A. No. No. But it’s an underlying,

5 ongoing problem with nightmares, yes. It happened

6 since I was put on probation. To most people it’s just a

7 job. It wasn’t just a job to me.

8 Q. So you’re saying you experienced

9 nightmares ever since being put on probation?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. How frequent are the nightmares?

12 A. A couple of times a week. First, I

13 couldn’t sleep at all. I have dreams that I’m at work

14 and something else has happened and…

15 Q. Okay. And so still here recently you’ve

16 had nightmares about Lakeview —

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. — as much as twice a week?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Is there any other way that being

21 terminated has affected you from an emotional

22 standpoint other than nightmares?

23 A. Emotional pain, ongoing pain related to

24 it.

25 Q. Physical pain, emotional pain?


1 A. Emotional pain. When I was put on

2 probation, I took off three weeks of family leave. I

3 had to go to my doctor for that, plus physical issues

4 and —

5 Q. Physical issues that you blame Lakeview

6 for?

7 A. No. No. But they all seemed to hit

8 right at the same time.

9 Q. What were they?

10 A. I was having gastric problems. I don’t

11 think you want me to elaborate. I had an endoscopy

12 and colonoscopy. Related to that.

13 Q. Did you get a diagnosis of that?

14 A. A diagnosis of?

15 Q. The gastric problems?

16 A. It was basically irritable bowel

17 syndrome. No cancer, no polyps. That was my concern,

18 but I also think it was related to the emotional

19 distress that I felt while I was put on probation.

20 Q. So you do blame Lakeview for that or

21 not?

22 A. I blame them for the emotional

23 component, yes, I do.

24 Q. Has the gastric — have the gastric

25 issues resolved?


1 A. It took several months, yes.

2 Q. Any other way being terminated has

3 affected you, emotional or physical standpoint,

4 nightmares, gastric issues?

5 A. When I was put on probation, I was

6 feeling some pretty serious depression, but

7 fortunately it didn’t continue into what it could have

8 been. I was determined to come back and go back to

9 work, and I was pretty depressed, as anyone would be,

10 when I was terminated.

11 Q. Are you still experiencing depression

12 from being terminated?

13 A. From being terminated, I don’t know —

14 I’m still experiencing depression and definitely

15 intrusive thoughts, yes.

16 Q. Do you attribute that — you attribute

17 that to being terminated?

18 A. Yes. Yes. Absolutely.

19 Q. Any other way that being terminated or

20 being put on probation have affected you emotionally?

21 A. I think that’s enough.

22 Q. You experienced any weight gain?

23 A. Gain?

24 Q. Do you blame Lakeview for that?

25 A. No. I blame not working. No, I’ve had


1 some weight gain. That could or could not be related

2 to depression. It’s hard to say.

3 Q. Have you gotten any treatment for the

4 depression, nightmares, that kind of thing that you

5 attribute to being terminated?

6 A. From my personal physician, yes.

7 Q. Dr. O?

8 A. Dr. O.

9 Q. Did you experience nightmares back in

10 2000 when you were told you might never work again?

11 A. Yes. Yes.

12 Q. Did you experience nightmares when you

13 were diagnosed with cancer?

14 A. No. No. I’ve had it twice, and I dealt

15 with that.

16 Q. Have you experience nightmares

17 attributable to your husband’s health issues?

18 A. Not yet. He’s doing okay right now.

19 Q. Do you have nightmares about any of your

20 ex-husbands?



11 Q. Who have you asked to be a witness in

12 your case?

13 A. I haven’t asked anyone specifically to

14 be a witness.

15 Q. Has anybody volunteered?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Who?

18 A. Several people actually. I don’t want

19 to get anybody in trouble who still works there,

20 bottom line, because they would be terminated, so

21 She’s not a

23 nurse though. And the ones that still work there, I

24 really am not — I don’t feel at liberty to say.

25 Q. Okay. I can appreciate that, but I’m


1 entitled to ask you.

2 A. I know.

3 Q. And you’re required to answer.

4 A. None of the people who still work there

5 have contacted me and specifically said, “I want to be

6 a witness for you.” I have not asked any of them to

7 be a witness for me. But when I was going through the

8 trouble with the probation and all of that, I had some

9 people who mentioned to me — gosh, I can’t even

10 remember the name of a couple of them. A couple of

11 the techs that work there. One tech that still works

12 there.

14 A. Yes. I don’t know about

15 Probably . She knew that I did everything

16 I could — I do know that — for that patient in

17 question. Everything that could possibly be done, I

18 did.

19 Q. Which patient?

20 A. The one that they terminated me over in

21 the end. Got upset that (info redacted due to HIPAA.)

22 she wasn’t admitted to the floor until 9:30 that day.

23 I left at 7:18.

24 Q. Is there anybody else that still works

25 there that would know something that might have a


1 bearing on your case?

2 A. Yes. Yes.

4 Q. What would she know?

5 A. She worked with me when I worked both

6 sections. She was the tech most often back in

7 admissions, and she knows that I never gave horrible

8 care to anyone.

9 Q. She worked on the nightshift?

10 A. She worked on evenings, but I came in at

11 7:00 p.m.

12 Q. What does know that would relate

13 to your case?

14 A. I worked with her for years, five — I

15 don’t know how long I worked with her, so she would

16 know. I don’t know specifically what she would know,

17 but I do know she was very concerned and thought the

18 whole thing was absurd when it happened. I don’t know

19 how she feels now. I haven’t talked to her.

20 Q. Anybody else who still works there that

21 might know something about your case, that relates to

22 your case?

23 A. <Name redacted, LPN.)

24 Q. And that would be over that patient

25 there at the end?


1 A. Yes. She was the LPN that worked in

2 admissions on the dayshift, 7 A to 7 P.

3 Q. Okay. What Lakeview employees, current

4 or former, have you talked to since being terminated?

5 A. Oh, goodness.

6 Q. You talked to , right?

7 A. . I saw . Went over

8 to their house one time.

9 Q.

10 A. One time. That’s been over a year ago.

11 Q.

12 A.

13 Q. What did you talk to her about?

14 A. I talked to her — we got to know each

15 other actually on Facebook, to tell you the truth.

16 Q. Did you all talk about anything that

17 happened at Lakeview?

18 A. No, not about that. No, uh-uh, but she

19 was a former employee of Lakeview. I’ve had other

20 employees contact me. I

24 I would probably have to sit down and make a list

25 because I’ve had people call me and contact me other


1 ways.

2 Q. But the ones you’ve talked to about

3 things that happened while you worked there, since you

4 left — you talked to them since you left about things

5 that happened when you were there — that would be


7 A. Uh-huh.

8 Q. Who else?

9 A. She’s a dear friend in addition to a

10 coworker.

11 Q. How long have you known her?

12 A. I’ve known her about since we became a

13 partial detox unit, and I believe that was about three

14 years before I was terminated. I’m not sure. Because

15 we used to be purely psych, and then they integrated

16 detox with psych, so I’ve known her about — no. It’s

17 been longer than that now. We worked together three

18 years — five years now since I’ve been gone from

19 there. It will be five years in May.

20 Q. What does she do now?

21 A.

25 Q. Do you know where she lives?


1 A. I have a vague idea. I took her home,

2 but I couldn’t tell you the specific address.

3 Q. You got a phone number for her?

4 A. I do.

5 Q. What is it?

6 A.

7 Q. Area code?

8 A. 850.

9 Q. Anybody else besides that you’ve

10 talked to about, the events that happened during your

11 employment at Lakeview since you left?

12 A. <Name redacted.:

13 Q. What did you and talk about?

14 A. and I talked about — after she

15 got terminated, we talked about a lot of things.

16 Everything. I went to the dog park with her on a

17 Tuesday afternoon with our dogs, and the next morning

18 she was fired, so that was pretty —

19 Q. Was that after you had been terminated?

20 A. Uh-huh.

21 Q. “Yes”?

22 A. Yes. But the dog park and that was end

23 of her employment. I don’t know if there was any

24 connection. I have no idea.

25 Q. Do you know her phone number?


1 A. I don’t. She’s got a really weird phone

2 number. It’s like 297 something or other, and I don’t

3 have my phone with me.

4 And then who else have I talked to?

5 Nobody else about the case. Not even Not even

6 the people that I was friends with. I wanted to

7 protect them basically, people that still work there.

8 and , I talked with both

9 of them.

10 Q. What have you talked to about?

11 A. We talked on the phone about the case.

12 Q. What specifically?

13 A. She wanted to make it a class action and

14 join the suit, and , just generally she

15 asked me about it as a rumor. Wanted to know if it

16 was true. That’s it, that I recall right now.

17 Q. Do you know phone numbers for

18 and

19 A. No, I don’t. I’m sorry.

20 Q. You have them, but not —

21 A. Yes. Yes.

22 MR. UMBACH: All right. That’s it.

23 Okay.

24 MR. CONNORS: No questions.

25 Waive. No copy right now.


1 MR. UMBACH: I am ordering.

2 (Proceedings concluded at 3:55 p.m.)

3 (WHEREUPON, the witness does waive

4 reading and signing.)

5 (Defendant’s Exhibits 1 through 24 were

6 attached hereto; copies to Mr. Umbach.)

























5 I, the undersigned authority, certify that

6 MELISSA BROWN appeared before me and was duly sworn.

7 WITNESS my hand and official seal this 17th day

8 of April, 2015.






















5 I, MARY ELLEN THURSBY, Registered Professional

6 Reporter and Notary Public, certify that I was

7 authorized to and did transcribe the foregoing

8 deposition; and that the transcript is a true and

9 complete record of the statements given by the witness

10 and transcribed by me.

11 I further certify that I am not a relative,

12 employee, attorney or counsel of any of the parties,

13 nor am I a relative or employee of any of the parties’

14 attorneys or counsel connected with the action, nor am

15 I financially interested in the action. Dated this

16 17th day of April, 2015.