Mississippi woman wins lawsuit alleging employer hid abuse


TUPELO, Miss. (AP) – A Mississippi jury has sided with a woman who says she was wrongfully fired from her job at a center for disabled individuals after reporting patient abuse.

News outlets report a Lee County jury last week ordered the Tupelo-based Brandi’s Hope Community Services LLC to pay Heather Walters $100,000. Walters sued the caregiving center and accused it of trying to hide a patient’s 2017 assault. She said she was terminated for an unspecified policy violation after reporting the attack.

An attorney for Brandi’s Hope denied the accusations.

Walters said her then-coworker, 34-year-old Cleatonia Burns, struck a 21-year-old patient. The Clarion-Ledger reports Attorney General Jim Hood said Burns was later convicted of felony abuse of a vulnerable person. Hood’s office says Burns was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation.

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