Lawrence Co. Files $2 Million Lawsuit

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The Lawrence County Commissioners have filed a $2 million lawsuit against Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Services and Athens and Jackson counties.

The most recent lawsuit comes just months after Athens and Jackson Counties filed a lawsuit against Lawrence County for failure to pay its share of SEOEMS expenses.  

The medical agency ended operations in December of 2010 and continued to collect revenues owed for past services.

The Lawrence County lawsuit claims the three parties have failed to pay their share of SEOEMS expenses and seeks more than $1.3 million from the former agency.

The same lawsuit claims that SEOEMS has been unable to pay money it owes to Lawrence County because Athens and Jackson Counties have failed to pay money they owe SEOEMS.

It asks Athens County to pay more than $400,000 to the medical agency and orders Jackson County to fork out more than $300,000.

Athens County Commissioner Larry Payne says that before Lawrence County can collect any assets, they need to pay their share of the expenses.

"There was an agreement that these bills would be paid, and any assets at the end would be divided up. What Lawrence County was saying, which doesn't make any sense if they knew anything about accounting, is that there's been money coming in since SEOEMS dissolved," said Payne. "Well, there have been bills that have to be paid too, so they want 40 percent of the revenue that's coming in but they haven't paid 40 percent of the bills. All the obligations have to be paid before you can divide up any assets."

WOUB News contacted the Lawrence County Commissioners for comment, but no one could be reached.  

The case is pending with the Fourth District Court of Appeals.