Monday, August 10, 2009

Logan Jenkins writes about the Leslie Devaney v. Kathleen Sterling confrontation at Tri-City Hospital


Leslie Devaney seems to make it personal against board member Kathleen Sterling.

See the full complaint HERE.

It's Leslie Devaney (left) versus Kathleen Sterling (right). Devaney has targeted Kathleen Sterling in lawsuit against Tri-City Hospital.

S.D. mayor is right on how poorly run state is
By Logan Jenkins
San Diego Union Tribune
July 26, 2009

... A spiky bouquet--the Sterling Silver Tongue award--to the attorneys for seven fired Tri-City executives who are suing four board members, Tri-City Medical Center and its current CEO for illegal termination and defamation.

Without judging the merits of the case, one thing you have to admire about the lawsuit's complaint, fashioned by the law firm of Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz, is the way it focuses like a laser on what it calls, over and over and over, the “Sterling Faction.”

The overriding theory of the lawsuit is that the chain of events that led to the firing of the seven high-level executives, as well as the departure of former CEO Arthur Gonzalez via settlement, was orchestrated exclusively by Kathleen Sterling, a maverick board member with a score of scores to settle against the Tri-City executives and several hostile board members.

Here's an illustrative paragraph from the complaint that lays out the dynamic that the plaintiffs hope will earn them millions of dollars in damages:

“The Healthcare Executives are informed and believe that as soon as elected (in November), the Sterling Faction set out to exact revenge against the Healthcare Executives and then-CEO Gonzalez who had worked for so many years to protect the District and the public from Defendant Sterling's abuses and that the Sterling Faction set out to exact retribution for the Healthcare Executives' perceived anti-union political beliefs. Even before the elections were certified, the union-backed Sterling Faction began meeting as a group to plot the ouster . . . ”

In the plaintiffs' narrative, the other board members of the Sterling Faction – RoseMarie Reno, Charlene Anderson and George Coulter – were mere pro-union stooges under Sterling's decisive thumb.

By focusing the lawsuit on Sterling, the Exiled Seven's attorneys accomplish a couple of things. They create a colorful villain with a well-documented history of odd behavior. Moreover, they posit a highly personal motive for the firings – Sterling's burning desire for vengeance – that dovetails with the allegedly self-interested agenda of the nurses union.

If a jury ever hears this mother of all termination cases – each plaintiff is asking for a minimum of a million dollars, and that doesn't include punitive damages – Sterling will be the alleged conspiracy's ringleader, the star of the show.

And the other defendants? They're just stooges, along for the ride.

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