Jury awards $5.2 million to nurse fired after reporting abuse

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An Illinois nurse who claimed she was fired from her nursing home job after reporting alleged abuse has been awarded $5.2 million by a Livingston County jury.

Katrina Wesemann, an LPN, was fired by her employer, Bloomington-based Heritage Enterprises Inc., in 2012. The Herald-Review reported Weseman claimed she was fired because she refused to follow orders from a director of nursing to “double-dose” agitated residents with anti-anxiety medications and refused to delete records of suspicious injuries.

Heritage operates 54 long-term facilities most in Illinois. The verdict included past wages and benefits and $5 million in punitive damages for the nurse — who worked at the facility for only about 19 months.

A Heritage Enterprises attorney told the newspaper the defendants were “deeply disappointed” in the verdict and continue to “dispute and deny” the accusations.

"We fully intend to exercise all available legal remedies to contest this result,” said A. Clay Cox in a written statement, adding that no further comments would be made until the legal process was completed.