CMC administrator takes legal action against former CMC employees for defamation
The administrator named in the lawsuit against Correctional Medical Care for allegedly pressuring nurses to falsify medical records is now taking legal action against the plaintiffs for defamation.
Three summons filed with the Broome County Clerk’s Office Monday claim Maggie McDonnell, the former director of nursing, Jennifer Rivers, the former health services administrator, and Nicole Dzeidzic, a former nurse, libeled and slandered the administrator, Renée Fonseca, through the claims in the suit.
The three defendants and the plaintiff are named as former and current employees of CMC in the suit, but a representative from CMC said they were and are employed by CBH Medical. CBH, the representative said, provides the medical services in the New York jails it serves while CMC provides administrative services.
Fonseca, the corporate medical director and director of clinical services at the jail, is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, and is claiming the women are responsible for “intentional infliction of emotional distress” and malicious prosecution.
The complaint filed by the former employees contained statements that were “false, malicious and defamatory,” and has hurt Fonseca’s “professional reputation,” according to the complaint.
The original suit, filed April 24, claimed the plaintiffs were instructed to alter dates on records to make it seem as if inmates had received medical attention within the required time frame, all in an effort to pass state accreditation. When the plaintiffs refused to alter records, they said, they were fired or forced to resign because of constant threats.
In a statement April 25, CMC, which is based in Pennsylvania and operates in multiple New York county jails, called the suit “baseless” and said one of the plaintiffs was fired by a co-litigant for “inappropriate conduct.” CMC did not name the plaintiff in question.
Ronald Benjamin, the attorney representing the former employees, countered that claim, and said Nicole Dzeidzic was terminated by a human resources employee of CMC.
Benjamin said Wednesday he plans to file counterclaims against Fonseca.
“This will not be a he said/she said (scenario),” he said. “The proof is going to come from the medical records.”