PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — A former employee of West Virginia United Health System (WVU Health System) and Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital Corporation (now called Camden Clark Medical Center) has filed a lawsuit against the two health care entities, food services and facilities management company Sodexo, a hospital supervisor, and a male housekeeper, claiming the parties failed to protect her from pervasive sexual harassment.
According to the complaint, Alisha Cobb worked as a sterile processing tech at Camden Clark Medical Center when she was repeatedly subjected to a sexually hostile and abusive work environment by a male housekeeper. His persistent actions forced Cobb to take alternative routes to leave the hospital in order to avoid him, according to the suit.
The suit states that the department supervisor and hospital system were aware of prior issues and inappropriate conduct with the housekeeper and similar behavior toward another female employee in Cobb’s unit. Allegedly, the health care organizations disciplined the housekeeper by prohibiting him from accessing the sterile processing workstation where Cobb worked. The suit also claims that Cobb documented and filed written reports with hospital supervisors and human resources, and was reassured that the housekeeper would not return to her department.
However, the housekeeper continued to stalk Cobb and neither hospital supervisors nor human resources took further action to protect Cobb, according to the suit.
Cobb was forced to resign in September 2021 following another incident with the housekeeper that occurred while she was working the night shift, according to the complaint. Cobb claims that the housekeeper sought her out in a linen room, despite having a badge that no longer gave him access to any of the doors in her unit. She alleges that she was forced to hide behind a computer until he left.
“No one should fear for their personal safety at a hospital,” says Todd Bailess of Bailess Law Firm.
This is the fourth former employee of WVU Health System and Camden Clark Medical Center that Bailess Law Firm has represented since May 2019. In fact, allegations made by former employee Angela Deem closely mirror Cobb’s experiences. Deem claims that the health care organizations violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act during her time working as a sterile processing tech. She filed a lawsuit in March 2021: Angela E. Deem v. West Virginia United Health System, Inc., et al., Case No. 21-C-63 in Wood County, West Virginia. The suit involving the other two former hospital employees, Case No. 19-C-103, reached a settlement agreement in February 2021.
The case is Alisha L. Cobb v. West Virginia United Health System, Inc. d/b/a West Virginia University Health System, Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital Corporation, Sodexo America, LLC, Joyce Moen, and Tom Bayles, Case No. 21-C-290 in Wood County, West Virginia.