Chatham County Jail healthcare workers file suit for wrongful termination

Published: Nov. 13, 2014 at 8:31 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 13, 2014 at 8:31 PM EST
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CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Former healthcare workers at the Chatham County Jail are filing a lawsuit because they said they were wrongfully terminated.

The workers said Corizon Health, Inc., a prison health management company the county contracts to work at the jail, fired them for bringing up malpractice concerns to the sheriff.

The attorney representing the workers said this is a violation against their First Amendment right.

Attorney Will Claiborne said his clients were concerned about the company's protocol on providing care, and when they spoke up about it, they were let go. Claiborne said that violates their freedom of speech.

According to the lawsuit, the three highest ranked medical officials noticed over the summer that inmates were not receiving the care that they deserved. Their attorney said if an inmate needed to go to the hospital, the onsite doctor would have to get the request approved from a third party manager who was off site.

The healthcare workers filed internal complaints to Corizon Health, but when nothing was done, they took matters to the sheriff. The employees claim that only days after their meeting with the sheriff, they were dismissed.

“What seems clear is that Corizon does not want the sheriff and doesn't want government officials to know how poorly they are, in fact, doing,” said Claiborne.

Corizon Health released the following statement:

"Corizon Health has not been served with the lawsuit you reference. But it's important to note that we are committed to providing quality care, and we support the dedicated professionals who work at the Chatham County facility."

Claiborne has since filed the lawsuit.

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