Partner Brian C. Farrell, Esq. has filed a wrongful termination civil action lawsuit against PrimeCare Medical, Inc. on behalf of his client, Psychologist Garrett Rosas. His firing has resulted in a loss of earnings, loss of benefits, pain and suffering, embarrassment, humiliation, loss of self-esteem, mental anguish, and potential loss of life’s pleasures. He seeks all damages, including economic loss, compensatory, and punitive damages.
Mr. Rosas was allegedly terminated in retaliation for expressing his protected right under the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law to report Lead Psychologist Mr. Robert Nichols for inhumane treatment of a patient who died while under his care at the Dauphin County Prison.
In December 2022, Mr. Nichols placed Richard Carter, 63, on suicide watch for not complying with his medical intake process following his arrest. Mr. Nichols ordered Carter into an open-back tear-resistant smock and housed him in a cold block where another inmate died of hypothermia.
Mr. Rosas attempted to object to placing Mr. Carter on suicide watch with no mental health evaluation to Mr. Nichols, who then stated Carter “…can freeze in that smock.” Mr. Carter died five days later on Christmas Eve after reporting difficulty breathing. His death was attributed to cold temperatures exacerbating his previously diagnosed Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Mr. Carter is the 17th inmate to die in the jail since 2019.
PrimeCare officials cite company policy to place individuals who do not complete their intake on suicide watch as a precautionary measure, not as a punishment. However, Mr. Carter was put on a Level 1 suicide watch, which is for those who express a desire or plan to commit suicide or have attempted suicide in the previous 30 days. Mr. Carter did not meet either qualification.
Following the incident, Mr. Rosas attempted to alert the acting health service administrator and several employees in PrimeCare’s corporate offices regarding Mr. Nichol’s actions. Mr. Rosas was terminated shortly after.
PrimeCare claims Mr. Rosa’s firing was not for acting as a whistleblower but for failing to place another patient on suicide watch and making “threatening” statements about the related investigation.
Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. is a preeminent employment law firm. Call 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania.