Singing River Health System on Hook for a Cool $17.8 million in MOB litigation

Those wanting to catch up on Jackson County suing its own Hospital system can click here for vital background on a story you will only learn about here on Slabbed.
Folks the case has advanced and your tax money is being spent, copiously I’ll add behind closed doors. I have this from a well placed source:

Full docket text for document 191:
Partial Summary Judgment. Signed by D Neil Harris on 10/11/2019. (Whitfield, Carol)

The Court voided the sale/lease agreement – financing agreement between SRHS and SR MOB saying it was not fully spread upon the minutes at SRHS and the County.

The Court also ordered SRHS to pay SR MOB $17,800,000 before December 1, 2019, to avoid being unjustly enriched by SR MOB’s construction of the building. Of that money, $13,000,000 must go to pay off the deed of trust. The Court also decided to hold a hearing to determine the liability of every person/entity that was received public money pursuant to the now void sale/lease agreement.

Since then this case has advanced to the State Supreme Court on interlocutory appeal.

I again openly wonder on what metric does one government suing another merit a sealed case? This is your tax money Jackson County, at least you should have access to proceedings where a judge is dictating how it is spent.

Stay tuned folks.

Jackson County sues its own Community Hospital and the Chancellor has sealed the case….

The more I peel back this onion the more it stinks folks and we’re not talking about chump change either. I start at the beginning of this disaster, when Singing River Hospital went hat in hand to the Mississippi Department of Health needing to update its Certificate of Need (CON).

MDH staff analysis of amend… by on Scribd

The takeaway from the above is back in 2008 Singing River Hospital needed more office space and had vacant land available on the hospital’s campus to add a 55,000 square foot medical office building that was estimated to cost just over $13,000,000 equipped. Johnson Development of Alabama was hired to do the design and build.

Next up we jump ahead eleven years to January 2019 when Singing River MOB, LLC sues the Hospital and Jackson County for back rent. Continue reading “Jackson County sues its own Community Hospital and the Chancellor has sealed the case….”

Other Voices | Windy Taylor: Singing River Health System Retirees Need Your Help

I am a former employee of Singing River Health System that is vested in the pension plan. Three thousand plus pension plan enrollees and I need help. Why you may ask? Because the Attorney General of the State of Mississippi, Jim Hood, is allowing our employer and holder of our retirement fund to rob us of our retirement and the cover up of the missing $150 million dollars that should have been deposited into the pension trust fund between 2009 – 2014.

Now we are all losing our retirement. The hospital is county owned and the second largest employer in the Jackson County Mississippi. SRHS has “flipped” an attorney with 17 plan participates into forcing a class action suit on us that has the effect of giving the people who spent or took our retirement a get out of jail free card, to never be charged for any wrong doing. This is the crime! The hospital administrator and the County have called all their favors in and apparently, the Attorney General owed someone a favor. This is dirty politics at its best.

Let me explain the “flipped”. A law firm representing 17 clients was chosen by Singing River Health System and various judges in the county to be the law firm to represent all pension participants even though one group of us, 261 strong, have our own attorneys who have actively fought for us in State Court, unlike the chosen firm. We are not being properly represented by this ‘chosen’ firm. The ‘chosen’ firm sold out the retirees in exchange for a promised $6.5 million attorney fee from Singing River Hospital System approved by the Jackson County Board of Supervisors.

This scandal began long ago, in the early 1980s when Singing River Health System (the Jackson County owned hospital) opted out of PERS and began their own pension plan. Employees funded the plan at 3% of their paycheck and after vesting (10 years of full-time employment) they were guaranteed a pension for life. Upon their death, they could elect to have a spousal beneficiary should they decide to only take 80% at the time of their retirement, and many did in order to protect their spouses.

Singing River Health System was supposed to contribute to the Plan “from time to time” in an amount determined by the actuaries as to what was needed to keep the Plan solvent. In 2009, Singing River Health System quit funding the Plan altogether. To hide that fact, they mailed each participant an individualized beautiful printed glossy pamphlet each year showing in what great shape their Plan was and how much the hospital “contributed for that year”. These so called account statements were nothing but a pack of lies. Continue reading “Other Voices | Windy Taylor: Singing River Health System Retirees Need Your Help”

Kevin Holland is finally leaving Singing River Hospital. What Gives?

Tuesday a week ago Slabbed was leaked that Singing River CEO Kevin Holland would either be resigning or be fired at the following day’s Board of Trustee meeting. Slabbed put out a tweet on the subject which we were asked to subsequently delete – you had to be there to win. Sure enough Karen Nelson would break the news on Thursday that Holland was leaving and that gets me back to the head-scratcher on being asked to delete the Tweet that Holland would be leaving because the fact that segments of the Jackson County Board of Supervisors were unhappy with Holland’s job performance has been very well reported in both the newspapers serving the area. Looking back at the events of last week there was something else going though which a perusal of Mississippi Electronic Courts revealed:

Notice of Depo CA by Slabbed on Scribd

But before we examine the context of Chris Anderson’s upcoming deposition we need to circle back to Karen Nelson’s account of the FY 2016 audit:

Singing River Health System dropped from a Level 2 to a Level 3 trauma rating when it cut back on neurological services, and the hospital system is no longer majority owner of its two outpatient surgical centers.

But Chief Financial Officer Brian Argo told Jackson County elected officials on Monday that the health system is cutting costs and is continuing toward financial recovery with a profitable year.

Argo went over the annual independent audit, this year by Dixon Hughes Goodman, which confirms the county hospital system ended the fiscal year on Sept. 30 with a positive bottom line of $5.1 million.

Looking at the audit report linked above I’m not sure where the $5.1 million dollar number comes from but I did see about a third of the consolidated net income was derived from the sale of assets inside a not for profit “blended component unit” called “SHRS Ambulatory Services“: Continue reading “Kevin Holland is finally leaving Singing River Hospital. What Gives?”

ICYMI: Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Reverses Singing River Pension Settlement

The part the appellate panel at the 5th Circuit didn’t like involved how the attorney fees were paid out in relation to the financial risk assumed by the Singing River Pension retirees among other things. It goes back to Judge Guirola’s Courtroom per below:

Click to obtain full 29 page decision
Click to obtain full 29 page decision

TransportRoom Continue reading “ICYMI: Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Reverses Singing River Pension Settlement”

Fanfare for the common man: The only people getting 100% on the dollar in the Singing River Pension Debacle are the Lawyers

This is one of those circumstances where it is again good to have a variety of viewpoints on a news item because one could watch the Tee Vee news here on the Coast1 and come away thinking the Singing River Retirees have been made 100% whole but unfortunately this is wishful thinking. Shearing the flock has to be done in stages and now the stage shifts from the Federal Courthouse in Gulfport back to Chancery Court in Jackson County where the actual haircuts will occur.

The certainty in that statement lies in the dollars and cents currently in the plan’s trust account and the fact that the early payment schedule provided for in the settlement does not provide much immediate help to improve the overall financial condition of the trust. The only immediate benefit is non-monetary benefit in the finality and closure provided by the settlement itself.

From a larger standpoint and viewed through the lens of time the Singing River Pension Debacle is just the latest in a long line ‘incidents’ where the ordinary people in the community get sheared for the benefit of portions of the Jackson County political oligarchy.  Slabbed has documented several of these incidents including one of the most recent on these pages.  The financial results of these ‘incidents’ are on display for everyone around Jackson County to see at locales such as 435 East Beach in Ocean Springs.  For the folks in Jackson County, the regularity of these ‘incidents’ paid for by the public, or in this instance by both the public and the Singing River Retirees, represent the worse kind of tax imaginable because it is a hidden tax paid to the benefit of the few.

In the case of the Singing River Health System, the most galling aspect of this whole saga for the retirees is that a large portion of the very people that brought the County and the SRHS retirees this pension disaster remain firmly attached to the Health System, ostensibly skipping away as if nothing happened.  For the new SRHS trustees, I frankly can’t fathom on what basis they have to actually trust the advice they are being given to support their decision making. You gotta think based on what has occurred that in the next disaster they’ll be tossed aside as easily as their predecessors. Continue reading “Fanfare for the common man: The only people getting 100% on the dollar in the Singing River Pension Debacle are the Lawyers”

Comment bump: From the spam que…

I noticed some comments have been delivered down the black hole to the spam que, a folder that I do not pay especially close attention. If you have a comment that disappears, send me an email and I’ll try to retrieve it from the black hole. Slabbed commenter Nunn Yabidnez left the following comment a few days ago that was saved from oblivion this morning:

Just thinking out loud, but with all the talk of Federal class action suits vs. Jackson County Chancery Court, I wonder if any currently uninvolved attorney(s) are considering taking clients from the class consisting of Jackson County taxpayers in actions against Jackson County, the supervisors, the various SRHS entities and members of those entities, the multitude of attorneys, trustees, etc., and all of their insurance/bond providers, for the millions of dollars of fees paid/received, as well as any further damages that might be collectable, in the retirement suits?

Some lawyer looking for clients might come to believe that once county – taxpayer – money got spent (and more will be spent), it may have created standing and a cause of action for any of those taxpayers. Some cases that anyone interested might start with are Canton Farm Equipment, Inc. v. Richardson, 501 So.2d 1098 (Miss. 1987) and City of Picayune v. Southern Regional Corp., 916 So. 2d 510 (Miss. 2005). Something like that might give some of these folks a whole new perspective about their own back door. Getting clawed-back out while getting something else shoved up the back door sounds mighty unpleasant. And expensive.