Bergen Regional hires D.C. law firm to fight fines in assaults case - Health Professionals & Allied Employees

Bergen Regional hires D.C. law firm to fight fines in assaults case

From The Record, September 16, 2015

Bergen Regional Medical Center has retained a Washington, D.C., law firm to fight a proposed federal fine against the hospital after eight assaults on employees this year, including an incident in which an aide was barricaded in a room, officials confirmed Tuesday.

Instead of meeting Tuesday to informally resolve issues cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Paramus hospital will contest the case, its spokeswoman said.

“Bergen Regional Medical Center remains confident that the medical center’s ongoing commitment to maintaining a safe environment for its patients, employees and guests will lead to a vindication,” Donnalee Corrieri, a hospital spokeswoman, said. She declined to say how much the hospital was spending on outside counsel….

The Health Professionals and Allied Employees union, which represents nurses and other employees, alerted OSHA after two nurses reported being assaulted in December 2014 and in January. Union officials questioned the hospital’s strategy. “This is a time for Bergen Regional Medical Center owners to spend their time and money on reducing the risk of violence at the hospital for workers and patients, rather than on paying lawyers,” said union spokeswoman Jean Otersen.

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