Mobile, Ala. – Attorneys with Cunningham Bounds, LLC (Mobile, Alabama) and Reeves & Mestayer, PLLC (Biloxi, Mississippi) have joined together in filing a class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The complaint names not only Singing River Hospital, Singing River Health Services Foundation, and other Singing River Health System (SRHS) entities – including its Board of Trustees, but also the hospital’s auditor, KPMG, LLP and Transamerica Retirement Solutions Corporation. The lawsuit alleges that the retirement plan is severely underfunded and seeks damages so that the promises made to current and former employees may be fulfilled.
“Information regarding Singing River’s Pension Plan indicates that SRHS has not contributed funds to the Pension Plan to match its employees’ contributions since 2009. As a result, both current employees and retirees were given false information about their retirement benefits for years. As of November 2014, the plan was underfunded by at least $149 million,” said Lucy Tufts of Cunningham Bounds. “Singing River and those named in this suit need to be held accountable. Our firms are seeking a universal solution and feel a class action lawsuit in Federal Court is the best approach to recover the benefits owed through SRHS’s retirement contract.”
A not-for-profit corporation, Singing River Health System (SRHS) operates two Mississippi hospitals: Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula and Ocean Springs Hospital in Ocean Springs. It also operates a number of community medical clinics throughout the Gulf Coast. SRHS is currently the largest employer in Jackson County, with approximately 2400 employees and more than 600 retirees.
“This is the first federal suit to be filed against Singing River Health System and their collection of partners,” said attorney Jim Reeves. “This was intentional conduct by all parties. This was 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 firms offer these tips to concerned SRHS employees (current, former, retirees):
- Review personal retirement documentation
- Take detailed notes during all employee updates from management
- Keep all retirement correspondence from Singing River management
- Before signing any documents, seek professional legal and financial counsel