The law firms of Reeves & Mestayer (Biloxi) and Cunningham & Bounds (Mobile) filed a joint multi-count class action lawsuit today (Dec. 11) against Singing River Health System, Board of Trustees, TransAmerica Retirement, KPMG, Chris Anderson, Michael Crews, Stephanie Barnes Taylor, and 11 others in the Southern District Federal Court.
“This is the first federal suit to be filed against Singing River Health System and their collection of partners,” said Biloxi Attorney Jim Reeves. “This was intentional conduct by all parties. This is not a mistake or an accident. Our federal fraud suit is a major turning point for those employees and retirees affected by this retirement crisis.”
The lawsuit cites more than 20 counts including corporate fraud, financial fraud, breach of contract, taking clause and acting in bad faith with its employees and retirees. The suit details how SRHS employees were deliberately mislead through false pension statements showing the Health System was fully funding its employee retirement program.
This federal suit was filed on behalf of six long time SRHS employees: Thomas Jones (current employee – 16 years), Joseph Charles Lohfink (current employee), Sue Beavers (current employee – 15 years), Glenda Smith (retired after 45 years), Rodolfoa Rel (retired) and Hazel Reed (retired).
Reeves believes this lawsuit will be as personal as the insurance lawsuits that came in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
“We have clients afraid they’re going to have to file bankruptcy. We have retirees afraid they’re going to be forced back into the work place. Others might have to sell their homes. This is devastating on a large scale to a lot of people,” Reeves said.
Reeves & Mestayer along with the Cunningham & Bounds law firms began reviewing and investigating employees’ pension records in October. Both firms are nationally recognized for their work with class action and federal lawsuits. Mobile Attorney Steven Nicholas says all legal avenues will be explored to get employees and retirees what they were promised.
“Singing River and those named in this suit need to be held accountable. Our firms are seeking a universal solution and feel Federal Court is the best approach to recover the benefits owed through SRHS’s retirement contract,” said Nicholas, Cunningham & Bounds.
If you, or a family member, are in need of legal information or assistance, call Reeves & Mestayer at our confidential 24 hour Pension Hotline: 228-374-5151