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Hospital Employee Sues Employer After Being 'Traumatized' in Hostage Drill

November 11, 2011
Related Topics: Top Stories - Frontpage, Workplace Violence, Business Etiquette, Miscellaneous Legal Issues, Safety and Workplace Violence, Latest News
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A hospital director is suing her employer for running safety "drill" in which she was held hostage by a police officer playing the role of a gunman.

Ourida Diktakis, ICU director at St. Rose Dominican Hospital in Henderson, Nevada, claims the hospital's administrators authorized a drill in May 2010, during which a man held her and two other staff members hostage at gunpoint, according to a lawsuit filed in Las Vegas' Clark County District Court on Nov. 7.

According to court documents, a man who later identified himself as an off-duty Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer walked into Diktakis' ICU on May 24, 2010, and, after a brief argument, pulled out a handgun and pointed it at her. He then ordered Diktakis, a nurse and a unit supervisor into the break room, and held them hostage for "a period of time," according to Diktakis' complaint.

Eventually, the gunman—who was named as one of the defendants in the lawsuit—revealed himself to be an off-duty police officer, and informed the women that the entire ordeal had been a "drill," court documents show.

In her complaint, Diktakis alleges that the hospital's administrators, who are identified by pseudonyms in the complaint, intentionally did not inform her or the ICU staff of the drill. She claims the hospital's actions not only "emotionally traumatized" her and her staff, but put patients in the ICU at risk by unnecessarily detaining their caregivers.

"There was no point to the 'drill' other than to traumatize staff, patients and visitors and there was no reason given as to why it was purportedly conducted," the suit claims.

Diktakis is seeking at least $50,000 in damages for emotional trauma, assault, false imprisonment and civil conspiracy against her and her staff.

Hospital representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Matt Dunning writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email editors@workforce.com.

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