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Delaware judge won’t dismiss psych center suit

WILMINGTON, Del. — A judge has refused to dismiss a whistleblower lawsuit against the Department of Health and Social Services by a nurse who claimed she was targeted for retaliation after reporting patient abuse at the state-run Delaware Psychiatric Hospital.

Karen Stoppel says former DPC administrators retaliated against her after she reported seeing several male hospital employees restraining a female patient in 2006 with what she thought was excessive force. Stoppel alleged that her superiors responded with a cover-up and retaliation, including altering documents, filing false complaints about her and trying to remove her from her position.

The judge dismissed three individual defendants earlier this year while allowing Stoppel to add DHSS as a defendant.

The judge this month rejected DHSS’s argument that Stoppel took too long to name it as a defendant.