PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Groves

April 23, 2014

Lawsuit continues in Renaissance Hospital issue

GROVES — The attorney for two former employees of the defunct Renaissance Hospital in Groves is now asking for a jury trial in the class action suit.

Houston attorney Nitin Sud filed the civil action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division on April 22, according to court documents.

The defendants in the case are Jason LeDay and Kiglapait Hospital Corporation.

In addition, the Texas Workforce Commission has issued several orders finding  the Kiglapait Hospital Corporation liable for unpaid wages and other issues.

Former employees Tiffany Aaron and Eboni Horn-Watson filed the class-action suit on behalf of themselves and all other employees in July 2013 against Jason LeDay, hospital administrator, and the hospital for violation of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act because employees were not provided with 60 days notice of the hospital closure, violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act for failure to provide continuing health benefits and notification of COBRA rights after termination, breach of contract for failure to pay accrued paid time off and violation of Fair Labor Standards for unpaid wages due for their last week of work.

The 49-bed general and medical facility at 5500 39th St., in Groves abruptly shut its doors in late April 2013.

Utilities to the Groves hospital were shut-off in the fall of 2013 and the city has had the grass cut several times since then and placed a lien on the property for the charges.

“We’ve heard nothing,” Groves City Manager D. Sosa said regarding the lack of communication between LeDay and the city. “We had to secure an open door a while back and the police department went inside. It looks like people had a coffee break and just left. The building is secure and there is no damage inside.”

There was speculation at one time that the hospital was up for sale again but the city has yet to hear from either LeDay, his attorney or a banking or lending institution regarding the property.

The hospital was once a top employer in the city but through the years ownership changed hands and financial troubled ensued.

“We hope some other entity either buys the property as a hospital or purchases it to create a rehab center or a medical teaching school, something,” he said.

Unfortunately for the city this may not happen.

“Unless LeDay paid cash for the hospital, and I doubt that, then some bank is holding the papers,” he said. “And I have a feeling that in order to recoup that money that bank will try and resale the property although we haven’t heard from any bank or lender at this time.”

According to court documents, the defense attorney’s withdrew from the case  in late November and new attorneys came on board but failed to submit responses. Sud contends that the defendants “have repeatedly delayed discovery in this case for several months, and they have now violated a court order requiring them to respond,” according to the court document.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

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