Case Result: Registered Nurse’s Impairment, Drug Diversion Accusations Stemmed from a Retaliatory False Report by HR Personnel

Professional:
Registered Nurse

Primary issue:
Client RN was accused of impairment and diversion. An anonymous source called the diversion hotline at RN’s place of work, indicating that the RN was diverting drugs and that they had witnessed the RN doing cocaine, all of which the RN denied.

The employer requested drug screenings, all of which were negative. The employer also pulled pharmacy records, going back several years to look for something/anything, but all they found was that the RN had pulled eight Ondansetron tablets for different patients over several months.

Ondansetron is not a controlled substance, but rather a simple nausea medication for which there is a standing physician order, as its use in the hospital department was frequent. The pharmacy director speculated that the RN probably diverted this medication because the RN is an opiate abuser and in withdrawals. The employer then reported the RN to the Florida Department of Health (DOH), and an investigation ensued.

Argument:
The RN had had a bad relationship with an HR personnel. Our client, who had been promoted, took over some of the managerial duties originally assigned to the HR personnel. Our client believed the HR personnel made a false report in retaliation — and that is exactly what we proved. We presented proof that the RN was not impaired, as well as there being no evidence of diversion. We demonstrated that the anonymous report was likely made by a disgruntled colleague and that the pharmacy records and drug test supported the conclusion that our client did not lie. We also attacked the credibility of the pharmacy director who made such a wild conclusion regarding Ondansetron.

Result:
The case was dismissed without a finding of probable cause.

Areas of Law:
Healthcare Licensing
Professional Licensing Defense
Substance Abuse & Impaired Practitioners
Drug Diversion

Disclaimer:
This information is a sample of our past results. Prospective clients may not obtain the same or similar results. Every case is different and each case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits. The circumstances of your case may differ from the results provided. The information provided has not been reviewed or approved by the State Bar.

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Case Lawyers

Sara A. Bazzigaluppi

Attorney

Florida Healthcare License Defense

Sarasota Office
6841 Energy Court
Sarasota, FL 34240
Phone: (941) 893-3449

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