JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Attorneys Earl Denham and Harvey Barton turned to social media to seek employees and retirees of Singing River Health System to join the litigation they began last week. A temporary restraining order from Chancery Court halted Singing River Health System from ending its employee pension plan.
And, some good news Wednesday meant a good beginning to the recruitment meeting in Ocean Springs.
Before their scheduled meeting, Denham and Harris had a chance to celebrate another victory. The restraining order granted by chancery judge Neil Harris Monday meant even more to Denham and Barton Wednesday when it prevented the Singing River Health System Board of Trustees from approving the minutes from the November meeting.
In that meeting, the board voted to end the employee pension plan.
"Apparently, we have stopped the monster in its tracks and now we can take a look at it and see how we can go about getting the money back."
The only lawsuit at this point is on behalf of former employee Cynthia Almond.
About 25 to 30 people attended the meeting, which was closed to the public, to hear their legal options. In a Facebook posting, Denham said there was strength in numbers.
"You can represent multiple claimants under similar circumstances. For instance, here, you have a group of people who are all affected by the same missing $140-plus million out of their savings that the hospital spent somewhere else."
The attorneys are seeking a permanent injunction from Harris at the hearing Friday in Pascagoula.
Barton remains positive about their case. So much so, there is no plan B.
"That's just not an option in my opinion," he said. "We're going to put on a good case Friday morning. I just don't think there's any way he's not going to put forth a permanent injunction. I just don't see it."
Denham said several people were signed up for representation at Wednesday night's meeting, but because some are active employees, their names will be confidential.