The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has issued a ruling requesting additional information in the review of the Settlement Agreement reached between Singing River Health System and their Pension Plan members.
Attorney Matthew Mestayer, with the law firm of Reeves & Mestayer, who is counsel in federal litigation involving the failed Singing River Pension Plan, releases the following statement regarding the Court’s ruling:
“As Plaintiff’s Counsel we are pleased to have a decision by the Fifth Circuit. That Court ruled there was not enough information in the record to either approve or deny the Settlement Agreement. However, this kind of ruling is not unusual. The Appeals Court primarily requested clarification of issues not addressed in the objectors appeal.”
“Class Council is considering all options but remains confident in the Settlement Agreement and its ability to pay the retirees 100% of their missed payments. Quite frankly, we’re looking forward to returning to Court as quickly as possible to further develop the record.”
For further information, please contact Matthew Mestayer at 228-374-5151.
Presiding Federal judge, the Honorable Judge Louis Guirola, Jr., approved the Class Action Settlement against Singing River Health Systems failed Pension Plan on June 2, 2016.
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 stated 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.”
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.