Fired employee can't sue community mental health employer
Nancy Bricker was considered partially responsible for a scalding hot shower that caused the death of a group home patient for the developmentally disabled. Her employer, AuSable Valley CMH, fired her and a supervisor. She filed suit against the employer and several individuals, claiming wrongful discharge and various theories of breach of public policy or intentional wrongdoing.
Bricker's discharge claim was voluntarily dismissed, and the Courts threw out her various theories of wrong-doing by the employer and its agents. The Court held that the CMH Agency was entitled to immunity from her claims of intentional misconduct, even if particular individuals would not have been. It also dismissed her claim that the individual actors should be responsible for actions that were ultra vires, i.e., outside their employment duties and responsibilities.