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Young’s e-mail address is gyoungnlj.com reversing a trial court decision, the Missouri Supreme Court held on July 29 that the waiver of sovereign immunity provided under the Omnibus Nursing Home Act applies to state government-run nursing home districts. Bachtel v. Miller County Nursing Home District, No. SC84835. Two at-will employees of a Missouri district told the staff at one nursing home there not to give anti-diarrhetic medication to residents infected with a highly infectious disease. An employee disregarded their warnings and ordered a nurse to administer the medication, causing one resident to fall ill and be hospitalized. After the at-will employees told the district board of directors of the abuse and filed a formal complaint with the Missouri Division of Aging, they were fired. The trial court dismissed their consolidated claim for wrongful discharge. After transferring the case from the intermediate-level Court of Appeals, the high court held that the omnibus act provides that nursing home employees, whether employed by private nursing homes or public districts, may not be retaliated against for reporting suspected incidents of patient abuse or neglect. The court concluded that the language allowing employees of nursing home districts to sue for retaliation constituted the express showing of legislative intent required to waive sovereign immunity.

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