JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. has given preliminary certification for the class action lawsuit against Singing River Health System, meaning the retirement settlement can move forward in federal court.
He also ruled there is enough in the proposal to move forward with a fairness hearing for the $149 million settlement. That hearing will be on May 16 at 10 a.m.
The attorneys who brokered the settlement deal presented the plan they say will save the retirees' pensions and keep the health system operating.
Guirola said he will take under advisement a motion by SRHS to issue a stay on the 46 cases in Jackson County Circuit Court.
Attorneys for the settlement deal asked the judge to take control of this contentious case, telling him those opposing the settlement are disingenuous, misleading people and causing worry.
Attorney Jim Reeves told the judge that opposing attorneys have been invited to settlement meetings but don't show up, and then use the social and traditional media to spread stories of secret meetings.
Attorneys for Singing River Health System asked Guirola to put state court cases on hold now that the federal class action case is moving forward. However, Guirola said he does not see those cases as a threat to the class action case at this point, because those cases are basically on hold, because they have been filed but not served.