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Judge dismisses claims against CEO in Wesley lawsuit

HATTIESBURG — Wesley Medical Center’s lawsuit over patient choice now has one less defendant after a federal judge dismissed claims against AAA Ambulance’s CEO.

Wesley had sued AAA, its CEO Wade Spruill and Forrest General Hospital in April. Both hospitals are in Hattiesburg.

The Hattiesburg American reports U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett ruled Wesley’s lawsuit failed to cite any specific actions by Spruill that supported its case.

“The only specific allegation pertaining to Spruill is that he is AAA’s CEO,” Starrett said in the ruling. “Plaintiff (Wesley) has failed to allege any specific actions by Spruill in assistance of the alleged predicate acts.”

AAA and Forrest General remain defendants after Starrett denied their motions to be dismissed from the case.

Wesley has alleged some patients have been falsely classified as “trauma” patients and told they could only be taken to Forrest General Hospital, when they did not meet trauma criteria and could have received care at Wesley.

Wesley contends the defendants are denying local residents a choice in treatment. It also contends people were told Wesley did not have physician specialists or capabilities to care for their medical emergencies.

The lawsuit cites 10 examples of local residents who allegedly asked AAA Ambulance to transport them to Wesley for emergency care but were taken to Forrest General instead.

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