Judge must resolve where SRHS case should be heard

Judge must resolve where SRHS case should be heard
The physician sustained minor injuries. (Photo source: WLOX)

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Here's the latest on the court fight to protect the pensions of Singing River Health System retirees. A federal judge says he has one main responsibility right now. He must determine if this legal challenge belongs in a federal courtroom. Until Judge Louis Guirola makes that determination,

says he won't rule on any other motions.

Read the full court order here: http://shout.lt/Qj1Z

In recent days, at least one other retiree has filed paperwork to be included in this court fight. So have a handful of defendants tied to the hospital system. They're all wanting to argue for or against a plan to liquidate the health system's pension plan. Whether they can be added to Cynthia Almond's legal challenge won't be decided until Judge Guirola rules whether this is a federal case or a state case.

Almond retired from Singing River Health System. Like so many other SRHS retirees, she says she counts on the pension plan to offset her daily expenses. When she heard SRHS was no longer funding pensions, and working on a plan to liquidate the program and create a new option for retirees, Almond hired an attorney, and took SRHS to court. Her attorneys asked a chancery court judge to issue a temporary restraining order and block the SRHS plan. But, that TRO was overturned when the case got sent to federal court.

Since the Almond case, three other retirees have filed their own legal challenges. One of those retirees is Kitty Aguilar. She worked for the health system for 34 years and is now drawing money from the plan.

The retiree says she has health issues and most of the money from her pension is used to pay medical bills including insurance. A chancery court judge issued a TRO in her case on Christmas Eve.

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