2 more nurses sue for wrongful firing after TB outbreak

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Two more nurses fired after a tuberculosis outbreak at Ninety Six Primary School have sued the Department of Health and Environmental Control, claiming they were improperly fired.

Spartanburg attorney John Reckenbeil represents all three nurses who have sued DHEC because of their firings.

Reckenbeil sued Thurs­day on behalf of Anne Ashley of Abbeville County and La­trina Richard of Laurens County, who were fired June 11.

Ashley had worked with DHEC almost 20 years. Rich­ard had been a supervisor at the Greenwood County Health Department.

Earlier this month, Malinda Martin of Spartan­burg sued, saying she was wrongly fired after the tuberculosis outbreak. She was fired May 30, nearly two months after a school employee tested positive for TB.

The agency says it will not talk about pending legislation.

The lawsuits say the women were “terminated after an outbreak of tuberculosis occurred at an elementary school … for failing to take it upon (themselves) to unlawfully, and without authorization, test the children at the school for tuberculosis.”

All three women took part in an investigation that started after a Ninety Six Primary employee was diagnosed with tuberculosis in March.

As of June 18, 574 TB screening tests had been performed, 461 of them on students. There have been 73 positive tests, 53 of them involving children. Abnormal chest x-ray readings have been found in a dozen people, 10 of them students.


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