Boss Told Me To Stop Giving Dying Co-Worker CPR, Says Service Rep
Last month, a Time Warner Cable customer service rep died at her desk. After any unexpected death, people searched for answers, explanations, someone to blame. But in this case, there may have actually been something foul afoot. A local news station reports that after a co-worker began giving CPR to 67-year-old Julia Nelson, a supervisor allegedly told her to stop and "get back on the phone and take care of customers."
Nelson slumped at her desk at the Time Warner Call Center in Garfield Heights, Ohio, and wasn't breathing by the time paramedics arrived. But before that happened, a co-worker rushed over and began administering CPR, the woman told WOIO, only to be asked to stop. Employees at the scene have confirmed this report.
The woman was also told later by another supervisor that she could be "held liable if something goes wrong."
Ohio has a "Good Samaritan" law on the books, however, which protects bystanders who provide emergency aid from being sued for unintentional injury or wrongful death.
Thanks to this legal immunity, many employees have used CPR to save co-workers lives without any risk to themselves. Last year, two co-workers resuscitated 55-year-old Brenda Halliburton after she collapsed at her desk at American Baptist Churches. One performed CPR, while the other gave her a jolt with an Automated External Defibrillator. In July, Alex Molina saw his co-worker at Yuma Proving Grounds slumped in his carseat. Thinking he was sleeping, Molina pulled over to give him a joking scare, but ended up giving him CPR until the paramedics arrived.
Unfortunately, Nelson didn't receive similar care.
Time Warner released a statement, denying any wrongdoing: "Time Warner responded appropriately to a medical emergency. Our company has procedures in place to respond to emergencies. We are saddened by the loss of one of our employees who was a co-worker and a friend. Our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time."
Police are reviewing the incident, according to WOIO.
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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