EMT sues hospital after getting fired for sleeping on the job

Michael Tallant said he was terminated for sleeping even though it was considered “common”

By EMS1 Staff

CAMDEN, N.J. — An EMT filed a lawsuit against a hospital because they allegedly fired him for sleeping while waiting for calls.

Law360 reported that Michael Tallant claims Cooper Health first suspended and then terminated him for sleeping while waiting for a call, a practice he said is common amongst EMS providers. He claims his termination was retaliation for his complaints about regulatory mismanagement, patient treatment and possible billing fraud.

Tallant’s complaint said that “the stated reason for his termination is pretext as other employees fell asleep on the job without discipline and other employees missed calls without discipline.”

Tallant said when he began working for the hospital in 2015, he “almost immediately” noticed noncompliance issues, like missing fire safety gear and narcotics not locked up properly.

The complaint said Tallant also witnessed a manager tell a supervisor to “get over it” when the supervisor complained about regulatory failures. When Tallant expressed concern to a Cooper Health representative, he was allegedly told they would “get a pass” because the EMT program was new.

In 2016, Tallant said he witnessed a paramedic hitting an overdose victim in the face with a bag valve while administering naloxone, among other incidents of paramedics being “rough” with their patients.

Tallant said he began to hear from employees that “third parties” were trying to get him fired after raising concerns about what he thought to be billing fraud. He claimed to know that Cooper Health was billing Medicare and/or Medicaid for both advanced life support and basic life support trucks when only one or the other had been sent to a call.

Cooper Health declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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