Florida health-care company sues Nurses Registry of Lexington

Breach of sales contract alleged

jhewlett@herald-leader.comMay 20, 2011 

A Florida corporation that operated a home health care business has sued Nurses Registry and Home Health Corp. of Lexington and owner Lennie G. House in federal court in Lexington, claiming a sales contract was breached.

Options Home Health of North Florida Inc. and its owners, Brian Virgo and Josh Goode, claim in the suit filed this week that Nurses Registry agreed to purchase Options' assets for $650,000 in June 2009, with the deal to be finalized after certain conditions were met.

The plaintiffs claim that the final condition was met in February when Nurses Registry received a Medicare license as a new provider, and that House and Nurses Registry have not paid up.

The plaintiffs said House and Nurses Registry still owe $550,000 on the Options assets, plus $75,000 for the services of Josh Goode during the transition in ownership. They also claim that Nurses Registry is responsible for paying $80,000-plus to refund overpayments made by Medicare.

Tom Bullock, an attorney for House and Nurses Registry, said Thursday that the final conditions for the purchase of the Florida business have not been met.

"Once we received the complaint, we forwarded information to Options that Nurses Registry has not yet received the Medicare (provider) number, as required by the contract," he said. "Based upon this fact, we are having further discussions with their counsel."

Meanwhile, last week Fayette Circuit Court Judge Kimberly Bunnell dismissed Lennie House individually as a defendant in a suit brought by a former employee against House and Nurses Registry.

The former employee, Joetta Hutson, alleges that she and other female employees of Nurses Registry were subjected to violence, threats and sexism for years while working for the business.

Nurses Registry, which is still a defendant in the suit, provides nurses for short-staffed doctors and provides in-home care.

Hutson, in the lawsuit filed in January, said that House was responsible for a hostile work environment at Nurses Registry. Bullock said Hutson filed the lawsuit in retaliation for a lawsuit Nurses Registry filed against her in 2009. The 2009 suit accused her of violating a non-compete/non-disclosure agreement by taking a job with a competing firm after she resigned from Nurses Registry.

Reach Jennifer Hewlett at (859) 231-3308 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3308.

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