New York — A former nurse has been awarded $490,000 in a civil suit she filed against Catskill Regional Medical Center for traumatizing her during a training drill.
On April 26, 2012, Alison Mastandrea was working as an emergency room nurse at Grover M. Hermann Hospital when the hospital decided to have a drill that simulated a narcotics robbery. Mastandrea said she wasn't informed of the drill, so she assumed it was real when a county employee came into the emergency room stated he had a gun and demanded narcotics.
Mastandrea only discovered it was a drill during the de-briefing.
Mastandrea is now on disability because she has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after suffering extreme anxiety following the event.
Mastandrea’s attorney, David Jaroslawicz said it was “astonishing” that the facility claimed it was not to blame and had followed protocol. Mastandrea has a concealed carry license and if she had been carrying her weapon that day without knowledge of the drill, Jaroslawicz said, “it would have been a real tragedy.”
The trial lasted two and a half weeks. Jaroslawicz said he thought the award was a little low, but it was fair.
“Hopefully next time the hospital decides to have a drill, they’ll find a volunteer instead of upsetting someone’s life for a drill,” Jaroslawicz said.
Her attorney expects the verdict to be appealed. The hospital has appealed Judge Stephan Schick’s refusal to dismiss the hospital employees from the suit. Jaroslawicz has appealed Judge Schick's decision to dismiss all the law enforcement and county defendants who participated in the hospital drill.
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