The Port Arthur News
Two former employees of the now-closed Renaissance Hospital in Groves have filed a class-action suit against the hospital and its administrator.
The hospital faces another lawsuit that was filed by Anesthesia Associates in 60th District Court.
Former employees Tiffany Aaron and Eboni Horn-Watson filed the class-action suit on behalf of themselves and all other employees 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.
Their attorney, Nitin Sud of Houston, said the defendant’s answer is not due until next month.
On April 26, Aaron and Horn-Watson and a number of other employees at the hospital were “abruptly and involuntarily terminated without any warning and the hospital was shut down,” according to the court document, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.
The City of Groves was not notified of the closure either, Groves City Manager D. Sosa said in a story that ran in the May 31 edition of The Port Arthur News.
The suit goes on to state that approximately three employees continue to work at Renaissance Hospital even though the facility has been shut down.
After the shut-down, LeDay reportedly indicated that the hospital was temporarily shut down to reorganize, deal with internal construction and for purposes of changing focus to behavioral health and senior care.
Sosa told The News in the May 31 edition that he had received a phone call from a person identifying himself as Jason LeDay, hospital administrator. LeDay reportedly apologized for not letting the city know sooner of the issue and promised to send a press release several weeks ago. The press release never arrived.
Jason Cansler, representing Anesthesia Associates, said his client “rendered good and valuable services to Renaissance Hospital and never received compensation due.”
“Also, they (Anesethia Associates) tried to work with them for a long period of time to give them the opportunity,” Cansler said.
The hospital had been in a flux for some time. In January 2012, J. Shane Howard, Jefferson County tax assessor-collector, led a multi-agency effort to seize personal property from the hospital associated with the non-payment of thousands in current and delinquent property taxes. At that time the hospital was under the ownership of Steve and Eileen Nguyen. The Nguyen’s were later terminated from their positions.
Foundation Surgical Hospital Affiliates, an Oklahoma City, Okla., hospital management company, which also has several Texas-based facilities, came on board in early February and worked with state departments to correct a number of deficiencies and by May 2012, while under the direction of FSHA, a new administration was brought in — the new leadership made a positive impact, according to Aaron, who was interviewed for a story that ran in the May 18 edition of The Port Arthur News.