River Valley settles with ex-CEO

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 21, 2003

Former River Valley Health Systems CEO Terry Vanderhoof will receive about half of the $138,000 he said was owed to him for severance pay and accrued sick, holiday and vacation days.

The case was settled for $65,000 in a closed-door meeting Monday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court. There was no hearing.

Vanderhoof, who was fired as the hospital administrator in December 2000, claimed that his contract with the hospital called for a severance package equal to one-year's salary, to be paid in 1/12 increments for each month he remained unemployed, if the hospital board terminated his contract early.

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Richard Myers, attorney for the receivership, said the settlement for $65,000 was only severance pay and was necessary because of the contract Vanderhoof signed in 1995.

Vanderhoof requested in his claim that he be paid for the seven months he was out of work after he was fired by the board. The court-appointed receiver had rejected his claim, prompting him to seek a court ruling.

In March, hospital employees who were owed sick, vacation and holiday pay were given priority status, allowing them to collect the full amount owed them.

Several former employees showed up with records and documentation regarding the hospital's closure, but were unable to present the information to the court.

Most were angered that Vanderhoof got even a portion of the money.

"I am sick to my stomach that he got a dime," said Georgeanna Rockwell, a former employee for 18 years in the RVHS housekeeping department.

Also scheduled for today, Dr. Frank Crowe will ask McCown to reimburse him for damage done to his medical office while it was being used by the hospital.

Ferguson Brothers Contracting, of Huntington, W.Va., will ask McCown for payment of $140,000 that was owed for work done on the new laboratory that was built in

before the hospital closed. The laboratory was never used.

Charles Lahr, whose lawsuit with the hospital was settled for $100,000, to have been paid in installments, will ask that the remaining $50,000 owed him be given priority status.

Staff reporter Michael Caldwell contributed to this report.