Details of Settlement Proposal Emerge

Two weeks ago Special Master Britt Singletary told retirees “very shortly, there’ll be an announcement and it will be 100 percent.”  Details about the proposed settlement are now coming to light and the proposal is very similar to the one Singing River made in January for 88% funding.

Singing River Health System, Jackson County, and one group of plaintiffs are proposing a settlement that could affect all pension plan participants. The proposal is for Singing River to contribute $138 million, Jackson County to contribute $13 million, and plaintiffs’ attorneys to be compensated nearly $6.5 million. There is no provision for “100 percent” funding or for how payments should be fairly distributed among retirees. Such decisions would be handled between the plan trustee and the chancery court.

Both sides are asking the federal judge to certify that just a few plaintiffs are allowed to represent the interests of all plan members. The implementation and oversight of the settlement would then be handed over to the Jackson County Chancery Court. The settlement proposal leaves open the possibility for reductions of pension payments and for termination of the plan. This would be subject to approval of the chancery court.

The proposal also calls for the creation of a four member oversight authority to oversee the operations and management of the health system. Authority members would be appointed by a Jackson County Chancery Court judge.

Singing River has agreed to contribute $138 million spread out over 35 years:

  • No contribution in 2015
  • $1.2 million from 2016-2019
  • $3 million from 2020-2023
  • $4.5 million from 2024-2051

Jackson County will contribution $13 million over eight years:

  • $2 million upon settlement
  • $3.2 million in 2016
  • $1.2 million 2017-2023

Plaintiffs’ attorneys would be compensated $6.45 million over three years:

  • $3.45 million in 2016
  • $1.5 million in 2017 & 2018


Read more here:

11 thoughts on “Details of Settlement Proposal Emerge”

  1. Wow; Dear Lord; Dear Lord; good grief!!! After two days—not a comment, from anyone.

    One can begin by asking where in the world is the court appointed successor trustee? He was appointed weeks ago and has the responsibility to 1.) keep the beneficiaries informed, 2.) loyalty to the beneficiaries, 3.) impartiality to all beneficiaries, 4.) uphold and defend the trust ( amongst other duties). His silence is deafening.

    Informed beneficiaries would have been told 1.) why did the sponsor leave the State pension plan (other than to avoid stringent funding requirements), 2.) why did the sponsor not self-impose ERISA standards ( other than to avoid more stringent requirements), why was the so called “employee retirement committee” silent (other than being intemidated by their employer)?

    Further, why is this successor trustee failing to enforce his duty to uphold and defend the trust? Are there not criminal and civil penalties for breach of fiduciary duties? Is not the role of civil authority to protect society by punishment to prevent future inappropriate behavior? For that matter, where the hell is the Jackson County District attorney in this matter?

    A search on the Internet for fiduciary liability attorneys reveals such names as Dominic J. Campisi with the firm Evans Latham Campisi for world class representation. (Google for yourselves) What are the written policies and procedures of the trustees in the administration of the retirement plan? Where is the documentation as to the compliance with these policies and procedures? Failure to produce both of the above equals an automatic breach and thus liability.

    And the solution brought forward is this let them off the hook, maybe we’ll pay-maybe we won’t, not quite certain as to the payout rate proposal?

    Finally, as regards the successor trustee, when is he going to enforce the duty of impartiality amongst all beneficiaries? Does not he, and also all current employees, realize that a court has ordered current employee benefits be transferred to retired employee benefits? Why has not he, and current employees, filed action with the State Supreme Court to rectify this erroneous lower court ruling?

    One can only conclude by circling back to the beginning. Wow; Dear Lord; Dear Lord; good grief!!! Lambs being lead to the slaughter.

  2. I hate to piss in the Wheaties, but

    Let’s recap: a pension plan that was roughly $100 million in the hole and was in such dire straits that it needed to be cancelled has now spent nearly $2 million dollars on lawyers (with about $1 mil of that coming from insurance, granted), special trustees, etc., etc. and will now spend another $6-8 million dollars on more lawyers and it will be all sunshine and hiney. Bullshit. This same were involved during the shit hitting the fan, such as the various Williams’ (via former partner Mestayrer and that crew), Robert Wilkerson, Amy Lassiter St. Pe/Lauren St. Pe, Charles Bordis, etc., etc., etc.

    Frankly, the SRHS employees and retirees, along with the taxpayers of Jackson County, are going to get screwed by the same bunch or douchebags that have been screwing them for years. Why do any of the victims stand for it? And the fact that they do stand for it is why it continues.

    I’ve heard that the retirees have written to Thad and Roger and others, including Warren Buffett (seriously?). Who they should be raising hell with is the DOJ, the IRS, HHS, FEMA, etc. Raise enough hell with them and the agents and inspectors general with them might take an real interest. Or just take the screwing – your choice.

  3. Double Wow; dear Lord; holy cow!!!

    After viewing the short video featuring Attorney Guice and subsequent readings of prior comments regarding same, this observer remains stunned. Clarification is certainly in order.

    1st) Attorney Guice knows more about fiduciary law than all of the other involved attorneys combined. if memory serves, he was the legal counsel involved, some 20-25 years ago, with the partnership that bought out the old Barq family local root beer operation for some $25 million and converted it into a national brand that was subsequently sold to Coke Cola for, some say $350-$500 million. One can speculate that Attorney Guice was instrumental in protecting this wealth through many types of fiduciary trusts. One can further speculate that he knows precisely how to prevent unscrupulous trustee actions.

    2nd) At some point, the Jackson County BOS concluded, no doubt in a secret executive session, that they just possibly might be culpable themselves for breach of fiduciary responsibilities in reference to their oversight (or lack thereof) of the SRHS. After all, they have assumed some fiduciary role regarding bonding and budgeting matters.

    So, who better to cover your ass when you are up to your eyeballs in a cesspool of fiduciary misbehavior, than the best fiduciary attorney south of Memphis and east of Houston? Enter attorney Guice for the benefit of the BOS.

    3rd) He has performed brilliantly. Just look at the proposed settlement document. A minimum financial contribution, no further liability; results beyond the wildest expectations of the BOS.

    4th) unfortunately, for the lambs, known as current and retired employees of SRHS, unless you have a cancelled check for services from attorney Guice, you have no reason to question or complain. Where, in heaven’s name did you ever conclude he was working for you?

  4. Would about current employees and the 30 year LOS (length of service)? Many employees that are eligible to retire now (30 year LOS) and didn’t plan to retire are retiring and coming back to their full positions so they can get that piece of pie now. Are they doing this because they know the 30 year LOS is going away? Would about the employees that will reach 30 year LOS in the next few years or do they have to wait until they are age 67?

  5. Interesting questions Mr/Mrs. Anonymous. Why don’t you ask your plan’s Third Party Administrator (TPA) for those details? The employees do have ready access—don’t you? Or, perhaps you should call upon your newly appointed plan successor trustee—he has been in contact with all employee, right?

    Speaking of the successor trustee, rumor has it that he might be perhaps the 4th or 5th choice of the presiding judge. If this be the case, how does it feel to have less than the “A” team working on the plan beneficiaries behalf?
    Maybe the judge can provide clarity?

    In any event, since the successor trustee has failed in his fiduciary duties (as of this moment)perhaps it might be an extremely wise move on the part of all plan participants to file for immediate injunctive relief preventing your so called trustee from signing the proposed settlement agreement. Otherwise, all the lambs are one step closer to being sheared.

  6. So, after almost 2 years and millions paid to attorneys, a solution is to have 5 BOT resign because Billy Guice says they are responsible for this? What will this accomplish? Nothing other than misdirection. Those responsible are Chris Anderson, Mike Crews, Stephanie Barnes Taylor, Nebo Carter, Davis Walton, Greg Shoemaker, Heath Thompson, Laurin St. Pe, Lynn Truelove, Kevin Holland, Lee Bond, Larry Shoemaker, Randy Roth, Celeste Oglesby, and the Medical Staff whose silence is deafening. I will boycott SRHS until justice begins.

  7. I hate to piss in the Wheaties, but

    “Nursing The Blues,” some of the people you mention certainly had a role in the mess at SRHS, but why would you, for example, hold Laurin St. Pe accountable without holding his father, Jerry St. Pe (a noted coast trough-hog), and his wife, Amy _Lassitter_ St. Pe, a Dogan and Wilkinson attorney whose mother is a Cumbest and whose father Benny is another coast trough-hog) to account for some of the blame? And speaking of attorneys, why would you single out SRHS’ attorneys Barnes-Taylor (a gone idiot) and Oglesby (a failed private-practice wannabe) without holding redneck trash trough-hog attorneys like Roy Williams and his idiot son, Robert Wilkinson, adulterous former Jackson County judge (and now, former Dogan and Wilkinson partner) Charles “Chuck” Bordis, Billy Guice and other coast attorneys to account for their starring roles? And what about the supervisors and trustees? Another bunch of redneck trash trough-hogs, including 2nd generation redneck trash, Barry Cumbest.

    Until those people in Jackson County demand action and act to vote out, fire and run off these scumbags, they will be getting robbed, ripped off and screwed by the same group of trash for generations to come.

    1. I was just naming some of the leaders I’ve seen and currently see walking the halls acting like they are something special. I’m glad you added some of the others. How can Laurin get paid by the hospital and his wife Amy get paid too by the same hospital and this is ok? How can Roy and Brett and Gentry all get paid and Roy and Brett paid for suing Gentry? WTF?
      Keep pissing in their wheaties

      1. A recent ad by SRHS touted 80% of healthcare decisions are made by women. Looking over the list again, I noticed that besides the bloated, foul mouthed, failed private practice wannabe, there are no other women in leadership and certainly no one of color.

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