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SEOEMS suits settled

With a $10,000 check, 4-year-old lawsuits have been settled.

That was Lawrence County’s portion in settling the suits over the dissolution of the Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Services.

“We had a pending suit against them,” Lawrence County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Anderson said. “We were claiming at the end of the last few years of SEOEMS being in business, the other counties owed us reimbursement for prior things.”

SEOEMS had been a tri-county EMS service started in the 1970s whose partners were Lawrence, Athens and Jackson counties. In 2011 Athens and Jackson pulled out forcing Lawrence to create its own EMS.

The counties sued each other claiming each was owed significant compensation for expenditures and assets including radio towers.

With the settlement, all lawsuits are dismissed.

SEOEMS owed close to $150,000 to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and approximately $70,000 to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The state will accept approximately $135,000 for those two debets.

Athens will pay approximately $50,000, Jackson $30,000 and Lawrence the $10,000.

“This litigation was going to be hotly contested,” Anderson said. “It would take years and a lot of money in experts. The commission working with me as the attorney decided it was in the best interest of the county.”