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Centis Health Spine Center and David Corteville sued for sexual harassment and retaliation

On November 4, 2014, a female former employee filed a sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and retaliation lawsuit against David Corteville and Centis Health, P.C., doing business in East Lansing, Michigan as The Spine Center and Lansing Neurosurgery.

Terilynn Wallace, who worked for The Spine Center as a “check out” person and later as an administrative assistant, claims that her supervisor, David Corteville, the COO at Centis Health, subjected her to “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, verbal conduct of a sexual nature, and physical conduct of a sexual nature,” which created an “intimidating, hostile, and/or offensive work environment.”

Corteville allegedly began making sexual advances to Wallace and they began a romantic relationship in May 2012. According to the complaint, “Corteville told her to keep it a secret because he was married and he did not want any of her coworkers to know about it either.”

Although Corteville allegedly promised Wallace that he would leave his wife for her, after some time of sexual and romantic activity, it became clear to Wallace that Corteville was not going to leave his wife and was simply interested in the sexual contact, and therefore, Wallace tried to break off the relationship. Corteville allegedly increased Wallace’s salary to $13.76 on May 24, 2012 and told her that he would eventually promote her to be his Administrative Assistance in order to try to induce Wallace to continue her sexual and romantic relationship with him.

Wallace alleges that Corteville made it clear that for her to keep her job and to be treated fairly at work, she had to continue to have sex with him. Corteville also allegedly made Wallace’s future promotions contingent on her willingness to continue the sexual relationship. Wallace claims that she tried to break off the sexual relationship several times but that “Corteville would insist that they have sex a few more times, which [Wallace] would do under pressure. Corteville told [Wallace] that the two of them would get along better at work if he and she remained ‘f**k buddies.'”

When Wallace ultimately refused to continue having sex with Corteville in January 2014, Corteville allegedly began harassing Wallace and took various adverse employment actions against her, including making unwarranted and false complaints of substandard work performance and undermining Wallace’s relationship with her other supervisor and coworkers.

Wallace claims that she reported Corteville’s sexual harassment and retaliation to Dr. Christopher Abood and Dr. Charles Bill, two of the owners of The Spine Center, but that “the managers failed and/or refused to take immediate, appropriate and/or reasonable corrective action.” On the contrary, Wallace was allegedly moved to a different position that was “a clear demotion in her duties” and “the employer implied, but did not say that she would get a cut in pay.”

Wallace alleges that the sexual harassment, hostile work environment and retaliation caused her to suffer from severe panic/anxiety disorder which ultimately made her unable to continue to work at Centis Health.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the U.S. District Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it represents only one side of the story.

Centis Health Spine Center and David Corteville sued for sexual harassment and retaliation
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