Tenure’s not what it used to be.
On June 8, Mary Loretta Knight sued HCA Health Services of Tennessee, Inc., for wrongfully terminating her after 17 years of employment. During most of that time, she worked as a certified nurse technician and with nary a glitch on her performance record — at least not until May.
Knight, who was hired in 1996, was fired for “unsatisfactory work performance” on May 5, ending her employment stint. Until recently, Knight never received a disciplinary write–up, according to her complaint filed in Davidson County Circuit Court.
The history portending this lawsuit is delineated in Knight’s complaint linked here.
In 2004, Knight injured her back while lifting a patient and filed the first of several worker’s compensation benefit claims, which, Knight alleges, was the actual reason for her firing last month. Ironically, this ousting occurred following Knight's refusal of an insurance company initiated settlement of $55,000 — funds she would exchange for future claims submission. Unsatisfactory performance reviews followed and this lawsuit did likewise soon after.
HCA officials were not available immediately for comment late Monday.
Green Hills attorney James L. Harris represents Knight. Harris declined to comment on the specifics of the case but did say there were a few interesting factors not common to these types of lawsuits.
“I think the unique factor here is the fact that Knight had faithfully worked for 17 years with the hospital, before all of this happened,” Harris said.
“Her firing was just a pretext,” Harris said.
Knight wants $750,000 in compensatory damages and another $750,000 in punitive damages.