Management firm dismissed from lawsuit

Published 9:15 am Thursday, April 4, 2024

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The management and consulting firm for a Florala nursing home was dismissed from a lawsuit brought by a group of employees pertaining to claims of discrimination.

NHS Management provided consultant work for Florala Health and Rehabilitation at a time relevant to the lawsuit. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim the firm should have corrected what they described as a hostile and discriminatory work environment.

The claims against NHS Management were dismissed by Judge R. Austin Huffaker Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. The ruling states that the contract between NHS and the nursing home absolves the management firm of day-to-day operations. The ruling states that NHS “shall have no responsibility for the supervision and direction of employees and agents of [FHR] involved in the day to day operations of the facility, nor shall have any responsibility for patient care at the facility.”

“The contract is clear,” the ruling states. “It places supervision of FHR’s employees and agents directly an solely in FHR’s hands … and hold harmless NHS for any litigation arising out of FHR’s operations — such as this lawsuit.”

Most of the claims of discrimination against Florala Health and Rehabilitation were allowed to advance; although, one plaintiff was dismissed from the suit as all counts involving her were dismissed.

Florala Health and Rehabilitation deny the allegations.

The lawsuit filed in 2023 by nine current and former employees of the nursing home claim they were regularly referred to by racial slurs by other staff members and describes the assisted living facility as a “racially hostile” and “retaliatory hostile” work environment that violates federal anti-discrimination laws. The suit was filed by one registered nurse and eight certified nursing assistants. The group is being represented by attorneys Artur Davis and Brian Noble who said the women were subjected to numerous racist remarks from residents and that white staff members ignored or downplayed the racial hostility and that management did not take appropriate action.