CHICAGO (CBS) — A day after a Cook County judge issued a temporary restraining order, employees say the owners of Westlake Hospital have violated it.
The restraining order issued Tuesday prohibited Pipeline Health, which acquired Westlake Hospital in January of this year, from changing staffing levels or services offered. But employees say the owners continued their attempts to move equipment out of the hospital and fire employees.
“The rehab unit, some of the nurses were told to turn in their badges at the end of the shift today to transfer their patients,” nurse Mari Collins said. “The ICU nurses told me they were talking about getting patients transferred as well.”
Nurse Tamara Venturella said she’s frustrated Tuesday’s order has not held up.
“It seems like we went to court for nothing,” Venturella said. “We’re trying to save this hospital and it seems like they’re defying the order. This was a court order and they should be following it.”
On Wednesday, Melrose Park’s Mayor Ron Serpico and other members of the community traveled to Springfield to ask lawmakers for help.
“What troubles me the most is the folks affected by this are black and brown, the people that are most vulnerable, and I hated to see it become a green issue,” Serpico said.
The attorney for the Village of Melrose Park filed another motion asking for another emergency hearing Thursday.
Ari Scharg, the attorney for Melrose Park, has asked employees to get in touch with him so that when that emergency hearing is granted, hopefully for Thursday, they’ll have more evidence to present in their case.
They’re asking for the emergency hearing to hold the owners of Westlake Hospital and Westlake’s CEO in contempt of court.
The village is also asking the judge to impose a fine of more than $666,000 per day.