CORRUPT DEFEAT OF NEW JERSEY'S CONSCIENTIOUS EMPLOYEE PROTECTION ACT

Deposition Transcript Segments
 of Arnold Manzo, 
Saint Barnabas Health Care System
 Corporate Director of Labor Relations 

A. Other than this case.

 Q. And can you tell me specifically what you discussed with Lauren Burke and how many times relating to Mr. Miller's case?

A. I believe she called me regarding a problem involving charting of narcotics at Community Medical Center, which is an affiliate of the St. Barnabas Healthcare System. And I believe we had several conversations regarding an investigation that was being conducted down at her particular site.

Q. Do you remember what those discussions focused upon ?

A. Again, as far as I recall, the discussions surrounded charting issues involving a number of cases that Mr. Miller was involved in.

Q. Well, could you tell us specifically what you and Ms. Burke discussed relating to Mr. Miller for this case?

A. As far as I can recall, she had called me in my role asking for advice regarding what she should do regarding the matter.

Q. Well, what did she tell you had happened?

A. Excuse me?

 Q. What did she tell you had happened?

A. She told me that there were suspicions that there were problems with charting regarding a number of patient-re1ated cases that Mr. Miller was involved in.

Q. Did she mention to you anything about theft of drugs?

A. I don't believe so.

Q. So she talked to you strictly about charting problems?

A. That's correct.

Q. And at some point in time, were you aware that she took some sort of disciplinary action against Mr. Miller?

A . Yes .

Q. And do you know what that disciplinary action was?

A. She was eventually -- he was eventually terminated by Ms. Burke.

Q. Do you know the reason?

A. The reason was poor nursing practice involving charting issues.

Q. If I told you that the reason that was given to Mr. Miller was that he had been accused of stealing Morphine, would that refresh your recollection as to, perhaps, a different answer?

MR. THIBAULT: Object to the form of the question. You can answer, but I object to the form.
 
A. I have never heard that.

Q. Okay. So, that, you've never heard before that Mr. Miller was accused of stealing
Morphine?

A. That's correct.

Q. Today's the first time, you've heard that ?

A. That's correct.

Q. Did she ask you for any advice in terms of how she should handle Mr. Miller's case?

A. It's common for managers such as Lauren Burke to consult with the corporate entity for advice. Correct.

Q. So, she did ask you for advice?

A. Yes.

Q. And do you remember what advice you gave her?

A. Well, whenever there are issues involving nursing practices that are serious, our advice is to always suspend an individual pending the completion of the internal investigation that's done.

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 Q. Are you aware that there's a personnel handbook that's given to the employee's Community Medical Center?

A. Yes, employees throughout the system are given a handbook that's specific to each site.

Q. Anywhere in the handbook is there a provision for discipline and for penalties that are imposed for various acts of discipline?

A. Not that I'm aware of.

Q. In terms of charting errors, is that the kind of violation that generally calls for a determination of employment?

A. It could. It's very serious.

Q. So it depends, then, on the seriousness of the discrepancies?

A. That's correct.

 Q. Can you give me an example of what you would deem to be a serious discrepancy calling for a discharge? What if the charting discrepancy were the result of someone just being too busy to put down a notation in the system, if it was just something they forgot to do because they were just too busy?

MR. THIBAULT: Object to the form; assumes facts. You can answer.

A. That's an unacceptable explanation as far as I'm concerned. The person has an obligation, as I indicated earlier, to record all care that's delivered to a patient.

Q. So, basically -- and change my words if you think I'm misstating. It's a no tolerance policy on your part?

MR. THIBAULT: Object to the form. You can answer.

A. It's a very serious infraction that's unacceptable as far as the St. Barnabas Healthcare System is concerned.

Q. Is there any charting error that you would find justifies a lesser penalty than discharge? Is there any that you can think of?

A . No. 

Q. If you encountered a single charting omission, would that still warrant termination in your opinion?

MR. THIBAULT: Object to the form. You can answer.

A . It could.

MR. HECKER: I have no further questions.

MR. THIBAULT: I have no questions.

(Whereupon, the deposition of ARNOLD D. MANZO is concluded at 11:55 a.m.)

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