Former Assisted Living Center Director Suing Over Firing
A former director of Bonaventure Senior Living in East Wenatchee is suing the employer in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed this week in Douglas County Superior Court.
Paeton Bangart says Bonaventure broke Washington public policy by firing him for reporting concerns about understaffing to the state Department of Health and Human Services.
Bangart also asked the state - the Department of Social and Health Services - to stop sending the center new patients because of a lack of staffing levels to provide proper care.
He claims, at one point, there was only one worker to care for 70 residents in the assisted living and memory care center.
A complaint filed by Bangart’s attorney says he was recruited to serve as Executive Director of Bonaventure’s East Wenatchee Center after previously heading another assisted living center and serving as Operations/Executive Director of Chelan and Douglas County Home Health.
Bangart claims he asked Bonaventure during the hiring process in February of 2022 if there were any investigations into the company, and was told there were none.
He says he learned after starting his position there were multiple governmental investigations including with the state Department of Health and Human Services and the local fire marshal.
Bangart's complaint claims he repeatedly advised management that Bonaventure did not have the appropriate staffing levels to provide appropriate care, and repeatedly asked for caregiver pay raises to be commensurate with the market in order to attract and retain sufficient personnel.
He says Bonaventure "turned a blind eye to the requests."
The complaint states that on May 4,2022, Bonaventure Director of Operations, Brenda K. Chambers came to the East Wenatchee facility and confronted Bangart in person, "clearly angry and upset" about the Bangart's actions to report understaffing and ask for a stop placement order.
Bangart says he told Chambers that his Administrator's License was potentially at stake and that he was going to be 100% truthful with any government entity.
The complaint says Bangart was terminated on the same day of their confrontation.
It claims Bonaventure violated Washington's public policy by firing him for his actions.
Bangart is asking for past and future lost wages, as well as other general damages and attorney's fees in his lawsuit.
Bonaventure has not yet filed a response in court. The company operates 26 assisted living centers in Oregon, Washington and Colorado.