Ala. EMS agency claims interference in lawsuit against competitor

Anniston EMS sued Oxford EMS, claiming the agency's leaders "interfered with contracts and/or business relations" of Anniston EMS


By Daniel Gaddy
The Anniston Star

ANNISTON, Ala. — Ambulance service Anniston EMS on Thursday sued competitor Oxford EMS, claiming the agency's leaders as well as a Regional Medical Center employee "interfered with contracts and/or business relations" of Anniston EMS.

The Anniston EMS suit shares a claim with two separate suits filed by former Oxford EMS employees against the ambulance service. All three contend that Oxford EMS was unlawfully incorporated and doesn't have the authority to operate in the community.

Anniston EMS sued Oxford EMS, claiming the agency's leaders "interfered with contracts and/or business relations" of Anniston EMS. (Photo/AEMS)
Anniston EMS sued Oxford EMS, claiming the agency's leaders "interfered with contracts and/or business relations" of Anniston EMS. (Photo/AEMS)

Both the two former employees and Anniston EMS are represented by Anniston attorney and former Calhoun County judge Joel Laird.

The action Anniston EMS brings is the first of the three suits to name RMC employee Debra Holmes as a defendant. The complaint states that in 2014 Holmes "began the process of intentionally interfering with plaintiff's business relations with Regional Medical Center and others by assisting and collaborating with the other defendants in this case."

The Anniston EMS suit asks for damages to compensate the service for lost business as well as punitive damages decided by a jury.

Anniston EMS director Johnny Warren referred questions about the suit to Laird. The Star's efforts to reach Laird were not immediately successful Thursday.

Asked about the suit, a spokeswoman for RMC said she would look into the matter and try to find the appropriate person to comment.

Mark White, a Birmingham attorney representing Oxford EMS, said "this has all been about somebody that's mad because the quality of service was so superior to Anniston EMS."

"Everybody has suspected and this proves that this is all about someone trying to get an advantage because they can't deliver quality service as a competitor. They lost the business because they didn't perform the service," White said of Anniston EMS.

Anniston EMS is a for-profit company headquartered in Anniston, while Oxford EMS is a nonprofit that has received support from that city's government. The two services have competed vigorously in the past, including in a 2014 effort by both groups to serve the Quad Cities area east of the two cities.

Copyright 2018 The Anniston Star

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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