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Ex-Employees Of Providence And Saint John Hospitals Agree To Settle Lawsuit

Mike Sherry
Heartland Health Monitor

Former employees of two Kansas City-area hospitals who claimed they weren’t paid promised separation benefits after the hospitals were sold to Prime Healthcare Services have agreed to settle their class action lawsuit.

The proposed $550,000 settlement, if approved by the court, would end a case brought by 49 former workers of Providence Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, and Saint John Hospital in Leavenworth, Kansas.

In addition to California-based Prime Healthcare, the suit named as defendants the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, the former owner of the hospitals, and several Prime Healthcare subsidiaries and benefit plan administrators.

According to the suit, the Sisters of Charity laid off about 24 employees before the sale was completed in April 2013 and paid them severance. After the sale was completed, however, another 49 employees were terminated but not awarded severance pay.

The suit alleged Prime Healthcare delayed announcing the layoffs to avoid their financial impact on the deal.

Since its purchase of Providence and Saint John, Prime Healthcare has bought two other Kansas City-area hospitals, St. Joseph Medical Center in south Kansas City, and St. Mary’s Medical Center in Blue Springs, Missouri.

The settlement was disclosed in court documents filed in federal court in Kansas City, Kan. U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia has given preliminary approval to the settlement and will hold a hearing on Jan. 5, 2016, to determine whether it is “fair, reasonable and adequate.”

Dan Margolies, editor of the Heartland Health Monitor team, is based at KCUR.

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