Jon Campisi Nov. 6, 2013, 8:48am


A Chester County woman who broke her foot during a slip-and-fall incident

after leaving work at Brandywine Hospital in early 2011 has filed a federal complaint against the healthcare agency claiming her subsequent firing was related to her injury.

Swarthmore, Pa. attorney Patrick Flanigan filed a civil action Nov. 4 at the U.S. District Court on behalf of Coatesville resident Sandra Simmons, who says she sustained a fractured right foot on Feb. 17, 2011, after she fell while leaving work.

The woman ended up having surgery to repair the injury in early November of that year.

Meanwhile, the plaintiff was either absent from work from Feb. 18, 2011, the day after the slip-and-fall incident, until Dec. 5 of that year under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, or she worked with limitations, the complaint shows.

On Dec. 2, 2011, the complaint states, Christine Boyes, a hospital supervisor and a co-defendant in the litigation, faxed a certification of healthcare form, also known as H.R. form 51, to the plaintiff’s surgeon, and the paper was signed and returned by the physician four days later.

The doctor stated that because of her injuries, Simmons would be incapacitated through Jan. 10, 2012, and that after that time his patient would have to be limited in work activities such as standing, walking and lifting, the lawsuit states.

The hospital ended up terminating Simmons on Dec. 22, 2011, which has led the plaintiff to be deprived of both economic and non-economic benefits, including wage and benefits losses, embarrassment, and disruption of personal life, according to the complaint.

The defendants’ acts, Simmons claims, were “willful, wanton, malicious, and oppressive with reckless disregard for federally protected rights.”

Simmons accuses the defendants of retaliation and interference under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Simmons seeks job reinstatement, full restoration of all leave and health benefits and any additional unpaid leave.

She also seeks punitive damages, counsel fees and other legal relief.

 

The federal case number is 2:13-cv-06423-ER.

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