Attorney Jim Reeves, co-lead counsel, is both gratified and pleased the Federal District Court granted approval of the class action settlement against Singing River Health System for its failed Pension Plan.
“This settlement is a major victory, representing 100% of the money SRHS owes the Plan,” said Reeves. “This entire ordeal has been devastating to so many but we’re hopeful this settlement will help them put their lives back together.”
The $150 million class action settlement will benefit more than 3,000 former and current employees who participated in the plan, including spouses, alternate payees, death beneficiaries, and all those whom the plan owes.
In preparing the settlement over 120,000 pages of financial records and documents were reviewed by experts, providing a clear financial accounting of SRHS, the Pension Plan, and what is owed to Plan members.
The approved settlement agreement includes:
- 100% repayment of all missing money since 2009
- Singing River Hospital must pay $149,950,000 to the Plan
- Pension members will pay no attorney fees or expenses
- Appointment of a Special Fiduciary as a “watchdog” for the trust
- Continued Court supervision of the Plan and repayment
- Appointment of new hospital trustees
- No Plan changes unless Court approved
- Jackson County Board of Supervisors will pay an additional $13,600,000 to SRHS between 2016 and 2024 to support indigent care and to prevent a bond default
A fairness hearing on the settlement took place May 16-17, 2016. After which, presiding Federal judge, the Honorable Judge Louis Guirola, Jr., reviewed all elements of the case before issuing a court order certifying and approving the class on June 2, 2016.
Judge Guirola’s order states the settlement “provides the best hope of providing continuing benefits to current and future SRHS retirees,” and that “the parties have achieved the best result that could be expected given the difficult circumstances and poor alternatives.”
Attorney Matthew Mestayer, with Reeves and Mestayer Law Firm, says the Court examined the materials submitted and determined the settlement is fair. “This settlement protects pension holders from future mismanagement. This is a great day for pension holders as funds can now be contributed, once more, to the Plan.”
Reeves & Mestayer began reviewing and investigating employees’ pension records in October 2015. The firm is nationally recognized for work with class action and federal lawsuits. If you, or a family member, are in need of legal information or assistance, call Reeves & Mestayer, PLLC at 228-374-5151 or toll free 1-855-558-2977.
Click here to view the court order