Ex-employees sue shuttered Texas hospital for abrupt closure

Two former Webster, Texas-based Bay Area Regional Medical Center employees filed a class-action lawsuit against the hospital and its parent company May 7, claiming the institutions violated the law by failing to provide sufficient notice of the hospital's closure, which occured May 10.

Bay Area Regional officials and the hospital's parent company, Houston-based Medistar, announced the closure of the 191-bed hospital and officials' intent to file for bankruptcy May 4. Approximately 900 employees were affected by the closure.

In the lawsuit, obtained by Becker's Hospital Review, the two employees allege Bay Area Regional and Medistar violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 by "failing to give … at least 60 days' advance written notice of termination, as required under the WARN Act."

Because of the violation, the employees are entitled to their wages and retirement benefits for 60 days, "none of which [have] been paid," the employees allege in the lawsuit.

A lead attorney on the lawsuit told Click 2 Houston because of the lawsuit's class-action status, any employee who discovered they were terminated without cause May 4 can join the lawsuit.

"[With] any corporation with more than 100 employees, you're supposed to get 60-day notice and obviously we didn't get 60 days' notice," one of the plaintiffs in the case told Click 2 Houston. "We're not looking to get rich. We're just looking for something we should have got in the first place."

To access the class-action lawsuit, click here.

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