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Alterio v. Almost Family, Inc.

United States District Court for the District of Connecticut

December 20, 2019, Decided; December 20, 2019, Filed

No. 3:18-cv-374 (VAB)

Opinion

RULING AND ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS

After the dismissal of her original Complaint, Lori Alterio ("Plaintiff") has filed an Amended Complaint against her former employer, Almost Family, Inc. ("Defendant" or "Almost Family"), Am. Compl., ECF No. 38 (Mar. 25, 2019), and alleged that her termination violated her rights under the First Amendment as well as the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Id. ¶¶ 125-249.

Almost Family has moved to dismiss this lawsuit again. Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 39 (Apr. 8, 2019).

For the reasons set forth below, the Defendant's motion to dismiss is GRANTED with prejudice.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

A. Factual Allegations

For more than twenty years, Ms. Alterio allegedly worked for Almost Family, "a provider of home health nursing, rehabilitation and personal care services." Am. Compl. ¶¶ 11, 16. During [*2]  her employment, Ms. Alterio held "positions of increasing responsibility[.]" Id. ¶ 12. In October of 2016, Ms. Alterio allegedly agreed to serve as the Director of Professional Services for Almost Family's Trumbull, Connecticut Willcare Agency. Id. ¶ 14. Almost Family allegedly assured Ms. Alterio "that it would provide her with the necessary training and support to perform her duties[] and responsibilities." Id. ¶ 15. In this position, Ms. Alterio allegedly was responsible for Almost Family's compliance with federal and state laws and regulations. Id. ¶ 25.

"The year following [her] employment as the Director of Professional Services," Ms. Alterio and Kelly O'Brien, allegedly Medical Record Specialist for Almost Family, allegedly initiated an audit of personnel records. Id. ¶ 27. Ms. Alterio allegedly discovered that staff at Almost Family's Watermark Assisted Living Facility and Sunrise of Stamford facility were not complying with federal and state requirements "regarding proper documentation being placed in patients[]' and employees' files" or regarding transitioning those files to electronic format. Id. ¶ 28. Ms. Alterio allegedly attempted to obtain the documents necessary to come [*3]  into compliance with federal and state law from Lindsey Deleo, Almost Family's Rehab Manager for Connecticut. Id. ¶ 31. Ms. Alterio and Ms. O'Brien allegedly had to return the documents to Ms. Deleo to be re-submitted a second time because they were not completed correctly. Id. ¶ 32.

Ms. Alterio allegedly discussed her concerns about Ms. Deleo's alleged non-compliance to Brent Piepenbring, Almost Family's Executive Director for Connecticut, and Sippy Olarsch, Almost Family's Northeast Regional Rehab Director. Id. ¶ 33.

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2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 218940 *; 2019 WL 7037789

LORI ALTERIO, Plaintiff, v. ALMOST FAMILY, INC., Defendant.

Prior History: Alterio v. Almost Family, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35390 (D. Conn., Mar. 6, 2019)

CORE TERMS

public policy, regulations, violate public policy, patient's, termination, amended complaint, motion to dismiss, at-will, allegations, argues, fair dealing, First Amendment, personnel, wrongful discharge, clinical, Rights, records, implied covenant of good faith, wrongful discharge claim, patient care, free speech, healthcare, documents, federal agency, home health, state law, agencies, common law wrongful discharge, public policy exception, original complaint