Former employees of Symphony Healthcare, Nashville, filed petitions in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Portland, Ore., to force two Symphony subsidiaries into bankruptcy to collect wages and benefits totaling more than $40,000, court records show. Symphony shut down its only two hospitals, both in Portland, in January and has since sold one of the hospitals to a local college. The other hospital remains for sale. Ken Perry, Symphony president and chief executive officer, said a state fund for laid-off workers has paid former workers about two-thirds of wages and accrued vacation pay owed. Symphony will pay the remainder and reimburse the state fund. Perry said some workers also claim they are owed additional severance under a federal law requiring eight weeks' notice to close a business, but Symphony contends the hospital closings fall under an exception to the law known as the Warren Act and will fight those claims. The Portland lawyer who filed the involuntary bankruptcy petitions, Gene Mechanic, was not available for comment, according to his assistant. -- by Vince Galloro
Shuttered Ore. hospitals sued over wages, benefits
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