4/17/17 – The local company that filed a defamation lawsuit against former workers says video evidence proves a scheme was orchestrated to harm their reputation. Prairie Ridge Assisted Living owner Michael Eisenga filed the civil lawsuit Thursday in Dodge County against three Beaver Dam women: Nichole Terlisner, Elizabeth Kohlstedt and Cynthia Piggott. The lawsuit stems from an alleged March 3rd incident that was later reported in print and television media. Terlisner allegedly made 14 calls to family members of facility residents – shortly after her shift started at 10:15pm – claiming that she was the only employee on site because everybody quit. One family member was reportedly urged to call 911 to report the understaffing. The lawsuit disputes those claims, saying that Terlisner pressured employees to leave the facility, threatening that police were on their way and, in one case, offering $20 to comply.
Video surveillance released to WBEV-WXRO shows the arrival of Terlisner at 9:42pm; the arrival of Kohlstedt at 10:02pm; the departure of Kohlstedt and two other employees at 10:14pm; and the return f those same three employees at 10:47pm. Mark Forster is Director of Corporate Security for Eisenga’s American Lending Solutions. Forster says the accusation against Prairie Ridge was that the staff had quit the facility, leaving [Terlisner] by herself working the night shift caring for all the residents; that he says is false. He says the “scheduled employees showed up for their shifts and [Terlisner] requested those employees to leave the facility.” Forster notes that the three employees were gone between 10:14pm and 10:47pm.
The lawsuit also maintains that Terlisner failed to follow protocol that includes first calling the executive director to request extra staff. Piggot, a former executive director at the Waupun facility, was named because of alleged comments on media websites and not because of her involvement in the purported scheme. Our calls to the defendants were not immediately returned. The lawsuit does not list a specific monetary amount but instead compensatory and punitive damages, court costs and an injunction prohibiting the three from further defamation.
9:42pm – Terlisner arrives:
10:02 – Kohlstedt arrives:
10:14 – Staff leaves:
10:15pm to 10:40pm:
10:47pm – Staff returning: