On January 10th, 2024, Dr. Mariana Pardo, a highly accomplished veterinary doctor, filed a whistleblower and retaliation lawsuit against her former employer, the Animal Surgical Center (ASC) of Long Island and ASC’s founder and owner, Tomas Infernuso DVM, P.C. A copy of the Complaint can be read here.
As set forth in the Complaint, Dr. Pardo was harassed and ultimately fired for doing her job to protect patients (peoples’ cherished pets) from medical misconduct. As alleged, shortly after she started working at ASC, Dr. Pardo became aware of a litany of unlawful and unethical practices—ASC was (i) using unlicensed veterinary technicians for procedures, (ii) engaging in unsafe administration of controlled substances and (iii) providing egregiously substandard medical care. Dr. Pardo sought to correct not only these practices but also Dr. Infernuso’s mistreatment of employees by raising internal complaints. In response, Dr. Infernuso retaliated against Dr. Pardo by harassing her incessantly, refusing her pregnancy accommodations and eventually terminating her employment only weeks after she announced that she was pregnant.
This is not the first time Dr. Infernuso has been accused of unlawful treatment of employees and improper medical practices. In 2021, ASC’s former CEO alleged that he was fired for raising complaints about Dr. Infernuso’s discriminatory treatment of employees and further alleged that ASC lied to the public about the medical qualifications of those who conducted surgeries at ASC. That matter was captioned as Saffron v. Tomas Infernuso et al., No. 604661/2021 (Nassau Cty. Sup. Ct., April 16, 2021), and was reported on here: https://www.law360.com/articles/1376102/ex-ceo-of-vet-center-says-calling-out-bias-cost-him-job
Statement from Wigdor LLP Partners David E. Gottlieb and Meredith A. Firetog:
“ASC and Dr. Infernuso must be held accountable for their blatant retaliation against Dr. Pardo, who did nothing other than stand up for the ethical treatment of ASC’s animal-patients and nondiscriminatory treatment of ASC’s employees.“
Statement from Dr. Mariana Pardo:
“It is my hope that this lawsuit forces Dr. Infernuso to reflect on his behavior and leads to the necessary changes to guarantee that ASC’s patients receive the quality medical care they deserve and that his future employees are not subject to a dysfunctional and hostile workplace, as they deserve a safe and discrimination-free environment.”