Former contractor says she was attacked by rats at DC's Providen

Former contractor says she was attacked by rats at DC's Providence Hospital

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WASHINGTON -

It is an odd and very disturbing story. A hospital contractor in Northeast D.C. was attacked by rats on the job and she says they are the same rats that are eating bodies in the morgue.

"They were going into places like the anal area, the vaginal area, the pubic area of the males," Doris Kennard said. "That's where they would get in."

That is just one of many incidents Kennard witnessed as rats feasted on bodies from the inside at the morgue here at D.C.’s Providence Hospital.

For two years from 2007, Kennard worked for a contractor who ran the hospital morgue. It’s a bid she won herself in 2009.

But she claims that opportunity was far from a perk. Because of the infestation, she could never find employees, so she worked alone many times.

And one shift almost proved deadly when a rat attacked her and put her in the hospital with a number of health exams.

“They were getting inside of the bags," she said. "They were actually gnawing inside of the bags and leaving the remnants of where they were eating to get inside of the bags. Parts of the bag on the tray. I saw scratches on the bodies.”

Kennard feels the rats at Providence are booming because coolers in the morgue frequently break down causing bodies to warm. And she says the morgue is right next to the hospital trash compactor.

“They tried to cover this thing up from day one,” said attorney Gregory Lattimer.

Her attorney says employees he interviewed claimed rats have controlled Providence for almost 40 years.

“If you look down there now, I'm willing to bet you'll find the same problem and it may even be bigger,” Lattimer said.

The hospital continues to set traps for the rodents. But workers say nothing has changed.

Kennard eventually ended her contract with Providence and recently sued the hospital for emotional distress. And a jury agreed with a more than $230,000 award.

Still, she is far from celebrating. She is now in aggressive therapy and feels she can never return to her career and could face future financial troubles.

But even after everything she has gone through, Kennard cries thinking about the horror of what she has seen rats do to the people.

“It could have been anyone in my family, and every time I think about the way those people were treated and doing with a hospital like Providence Hospital, nothing like this should never happen in any hospital in the United States,” she said.

FOX 5 did attempt to contact the hospital to comment on this story, but they have yet to return our calls.

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