Whistleblower claim dismissed where patient care associate cannot prove supervisor knew of complaints
Ava McBrayer sued the Detroit Medical Center after she was fired from her job at Harper Hospital. McBrayer had worked at DMC from 1999 to 2007. From 2000 until the child's death in 2007, McBrayer's child was treated at the DMC for leukemia. McBrayer wrote a series of complaints to her employer and to outside entities, criticizing the DMC for its treatment of her daughter and also complaining of its alleged denial of leave time to McBrayer under the Family Medical Leave Act.
After the child's death, McBrayer transferred from Childrens Hospital to Harper; and soon after the transfer she became embroiled in a scheduling conflict with her supervisor. She was terminated. She believed that she was fired, in part, for her past complaints. The lower court held that since McBrayer could not prove that the terminating officers knew about her complaints, McBrayer could not have a trial to determine whether her dismissal was retaliatory. Her claim was dismissed, as was her appeal.