An emergency room physician has filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against Western Pennsylvania Hospital and the West Penn Allegheny Health System, alleging that the hospital where he formerly worked is dirty and understaffed, among other things.
David Lemonick, M.D., 50, of O'Hara Township, Pa., filed the lawsuit in Allegheny County court, claiming he was fired in November for speaking out about cardiac patients not receiving prompt treatment, bathrooms smeared in feces and delays in submitting blood for testing.
Lemonick, who joined West Penn in February 2000, said his superiors accused him of disruptive behavior when he reprimanded or alerted nurses and residents about lapses in patient care.
Hospital spokesman Tom Chakurda said officials were aware of Lemonick's accusations and investigated them when he first spoke out.
"As a result of that process, as well as an external review of our emergency department's practices and procedures, we find his suit to be groundless and will defend ourselves vigorously," Chakurda said.
Lemonick is seeking lost wages, benefits and other damages. The lawsuit didn't cite a specific figure.