lmmah pic.jpg

The Logan Mingo Area Mental Health Inc. Reverend Thomas W. Shuler Center is located in Buffalo Creek Road in Chattaroy, W.Va.

WILLIAMSON — A woman is suing Logan-Mingo Mental Health Inc. after she says she was retaliated against for making complaints.

Donna Cooke was also named as a defendant in the suit.

Stephanie Copley was an employee for Logan-Mingo Mental Health, where Cooke was the chief executive officer, according to a complaint filed in Mingo Circuit Court.

Copley claims she began working for the defendants in August 2017 as a lead therapist and program manager for the Pivot Point program and was later transferred to become the lead therapist and manager of the newly created Rise program.

During her employment, Copley became aware of various improper, illegal, unlawful, fraudulent, unethical and unprofessional acts that jeopardized the safety of the patients, according to the suit.

Copley claims she made good faith reports and complaints to the defendants about the goings-on that she witnessed, but was later demoted due to making complaints.

Approximately one year after her demotion, Cooke asked her to resume her former position, but she was instructed to “stay in her lane” and refrain from making complaints about the misconduct of other employees, according to the suit.

Copley claims she still made good-faith complaints regarding illegal, unlawful, fraudulent, unethical and unprofessional conduct. She claims when she found out there would be changes made to the program she was over, she reiterated her former complaints and was again demoted.

The plaintiff then was forced to end her employment due to the retaliatory demotion and intolerable employment conditions imposed, according to the suit.

Copley claims the defendants violated the Patient Safety Act and were negligent.

“As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ actions and/or inactions, Plaintiff has suffered and will continue to suffer emotional damages, including humiliations, mental pain and suffering, emotional distress and embarrassment,” the complaint states.

Copley is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is represented by Kurt E. Entsminger and Phillip Estep of Estep Entsminger Law Group.