SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners say they fired high-performance director Lorena Martin this season in part because she created a hostile work environment and ignored recommended treatments for injured players issued by team doctors.
The Mariners’ claims were revealed in a filing in King County Superior Court in response to Martin’s lawsuit against the team filed earlier this month. The club’s response was an eight-page, weeks-old letter originally filed in an attempt to have her situation settled in private arbitration, but it became public after it was attached to a motion filed by Martin’s attorney.
The Mariners say unnamed employees warned general manager Jerry Dipoto last March that Martin was ignoring medical advice on treatment of injured players and that she was misrepresenting herself “as a medical doctor to other MLB teams’ staff.”
The team also said it received “overwhelming and accumulating” employee complaints about Martin.
Martin’s wrongful-termination lawsuit claimed that she went to team owners John Stanton and Buck Ferguson and CEO Kevin Mather as far back as March to complain about alleged discriminatory treatment.
The lawsuit also says that several Latino players complained to Martin about feeling excluded and that Dipoto took midseason steps to deliberately undermine the progress and mental state of star pitcher Felix Hernandez.
The Mariners have denied all of Martin’s claims.
“Martin’s allegations of discrimination are not true,” the Mariners’ letter states. “No indication, much less evidence, of such was identified during the course of the independent investigation which involved personal interviews of approximately 20 individuals who were in position to know.”