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Immunity ruling blocks lawsuit

The state Mental Health Department has sovereign immunity and can’t be sued for monetary damages in a worker’s compensation case, the Missouri Court of Appeals in Kansas City ruled Tuesday.

But a three-judge panel also ruled that a group of 16 Fulton State Hospital employees and former employees can go to court on other grounds, including asking for an injunction to prevent retaliation and a court-order reinstating all employees who’d been dismissed illegally.

Susan Wyman of Mokane and the other 15 FSH employees filed their lawsuit Oct. 14, 2010, in the Callaway County circuit court, alleging that Marty Martin-Foreman, the hospital’s chief operating officer, retaliated against them for filing various worker’s compensation claims.

They argued the retaliation included demotions and job reassignments, and told the court those job actions were part of a pattern of harassment, intimidation and coercion.

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