Two former employees for North Bergen Emergency Services have filed a lawsuit against the township and Deputy EMS Chief Dave Prina, alleging wrongful termination after they had a spat with local police officers.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The six-page suit, filed by attorney Mario Blanch in Hudson County Superior Court on behalf of his clients, Tamara Sepulveda and Luis DeLeon, alleges that the duo has been out of work for nearly a year after an incident with police.
The alleged August 2017 incident says that Sepulveda and DeLeon were called to an emergency where they declined to transport an inebriated man to the hospital after he had verbally refused.
Despite this, the lawsuit contends that North Bergen police officers on the scene, who aren’t identified in the complaint, insisted that the emergency responders transport the man to the hospital.
The suit also says that NBPD “put lives at risk” by distracting EMS personnel and dictating patient care.
Blanch further states that Deleon was fired on August 28th, 2017, the same day that Sepulveda was suspended.
While she eventually returned to work, the plaintiff alleges she was “subjected to a hostile work environment and forced to resign” effect January 1st, 2018.
The one-count suit clams the defendants violated the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, and as a result, the two former first responders are seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as legal fees and relief deemed just and equitable by the court.
Blanch declined to comment beyond what was in the lawsuit and a township spokesman did not immediately return an email seeking comment.