published Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Nurse sues over alleged sexual groping by 800 pound Tennessee man

A federal judge will decide whether a McMinnville, Tenn., nursing company did anything to stop an 800-pound male client who groped and demanded sexual favors from nurses for more than a year and fired a nurse who complained.

Former Nurse One/Team One employee Renee Neal filed a civil lawsuit in September 2009, alleging that the company required her to work as a home nurse with a client after he had repeatedly sexually groped and propositioned her and other female nurses in his McMinnville home, according to court records.

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Suit and response

After Neal complained and warned another female nurse of Stanley Slatten's conduct, she was required to write a letter of apology to Slatten, records show, and shortly after she sent the letter, Nurse One fired her.

U.S. Federal Magistrate Bill Carter met privately with both parties Tuesday. Results of the mediation were not available and may not be made public, pending attorney filings.

Neither the attorneys, Neal, Slatten nor Nurse One owner Kim Ray could be reached for comment Tuesday.

Court documents filed by Nurse One's attorneys deny all of the charges, but acknowledge that, beginning in February 2006, the company provided home health care for Slatten, "who was morbidly obese with limited mobility, homebound patient weight approximately 800 pounds."

The documents also say that Neal was fired for "outwardly discussing a patient's case with another employee and a patient other than Stanley Slatten."

Neal filed the lawsuit with the help of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which represents her and a "class of female employees" subjected to harassment by Slatten.

Court documents show that EEOC attorneys are seeking back pay for the women and for the court to "correct unlawful employment practices." A 2009 EEOC press release noted that the sexual harassment violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the release, Memphis District Office Director Katharine W. Kores said, "There is no excuse for knowingly and repeatedly subjecting female employees to a sexually hostile and abusive work environment."

The original complaint details Slatten's repeated verbal, physical and sexual harassment over the course of 10 months when Neal took care of him for 12 hours a day, two to three days each week.

On the first day Neal cared for Slatten in February 2006, she said he grabbed her breast and groped her privates, "asking for sexual favors."

Court documents state that, in August 2006, Slatten threw a sex toy at Neal and shouted, "Why don't you and [the other female nursing assistant assigned to the client's home] use this?"

On other occasions, Slatten insisted nurses wash his genitals repeatedly "to the point of sexual stimulation" and asked them to "get into bed with him and watch pornography on TV."

When Neal complained about Slatten's behavior to Nurse One, she claims she was told, "Nurses have to put up with that."

Slatten requested only female certified nursing assistants, and Nurse One "continued to cycle a class of female employees into his home, knowingly subjecting them to sexual harassment, inappropriate touching, and a sexually hostile work environment," documents state.

Neal and other female nurses filed 25 written reports of Slatten's abusive behavior, documents state.

Contact staff writer Todd South at tsouth@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6347.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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ceeweed said...

Nurse One needs to be Nurse None. A company that seems to have no sexual harassment policy will not survive this suit.

Nurses are there to meet a patient's needs not to indulge a patient's perversions. Federal laws are in place to enforce zero tolerance of sexual harassment in the workplace. This company needs to pay through the teeth and Mr. Slatton needs to be in jail. I doubt he will find anyone willing to wash his genitals in the pokey.

February 16, 2011 at 10:11 p.m.
julieanna320 said...

Its funny how the same lawyer that is Colman Hochmans lawyer is takeing a case like this. considering the fact that he is representing a man that has been accused of similar alligations. Colman Hochman sexual battery. He would grab Miss Hursts breast, butt and talk nasty to her in front of her 3 year old child.This happened over a course of 5 or 6 months. I just think that it is a funny thing that he is takeing this womans case. And then he takes a similar case. But, in this other case, He represents the sexual prediter. WHY

March 3, 2011 at 11:12 a.m.
julieanna320 said...

I am truely sorry for what happened to you and what you had to endure. I hope that you take that company for all that its worth

March 3, 2011 at 11:28 a.m.
julieanna320 said...

Ok. a female nurse continued to come to this mans house 3 days a week for 12 hours each time and had to endure this mans sexual harrassment, He mentioned him wanting her to watch porn with him, He had her clean his genitals until the point of erections.And when she complained to her boss the comment was 'nurses have to put up with that kind of stuff' So I guess is that nurse 1 or (whatever the name of the company is) sounds something like, (I hate to say this but) an under cover prostitution ring.the company should be sued for everything that they got. sounds like class action lawsuit to me.Her reasons maybe differant than mine. Me I let it go on with colman hochman 4 to 5 months. bnecouse I was scared that no one would take me seriously if(which i am now)I filed a lawsuit becouse of my background. If you ladies are reading, this is a class action lawsuit agianst the company and the perv that did it. none of you deserved what happened to any of you. for almost a whole year or more.I know how you feel, my rentman did the same to me and I was scared not only becouse i thought that no one would believe me becouse I have made some bad choices in my past, and I was renting from him and I felt intemidated, which you felt the same way(intimidated)by your company and the man.

March 7, 2011 at 11:26 p.m.
rcl said...

It would be difficult to find a nurse or nursing assistant (they are not the same thing by the way, even though you use them interchangeably) who hasn't been a victim of harassment, from the subtle 'honey' all the way up to what this man did and beyond. In my experience working first as a CNA, then in human resources at a nursing agency and finally for a company that trained CNA's before I finally left the field (20 years total), I never once saw any instruction given on how to deal with this very real problem. The cna's were not given tips on dealing with it and proper procedures/chain of command for reporting it, the supervisors were not trained on how to deal with it when an employee complained and the patients were not told during intake that it was a serious and unacceptable practice. Left with no recourse, the employee did the only thing she could think of: warn others. Of course privacy laws and rules, as opposed to harassment, are strictly enforced, so out the door she went. So very unfair. Regarding the article in general, the man's weight has absolutely no bearing on the subject matter and is just sensationalist drivel. Some suggestions for further headlines..."Woman with genital piercings dies in house fire" or perhaps "Man with no left testicle caught passing bad checks"

March 18, 2011 at 4:17 p.m.
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