By Associated Press - Wednesday, January 22, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. (AP) - A consulting firm and members of the board of a Vermont health care system and hospital are seeking to have a federal lawsuit filed by the hospital’s former CEO dismissed.

Seven members of the board of Springfield Medical Care Systems and Springfield Hospital filed a recent response, stating they cannot be held personally liable for actions taken in “good faith” and in “the best interests” of the organization, the Valley News reported Tuesday.

Timothy Ford resigned as CEO of both the hospital and health care system in December 2018 and sought severance by filing a lawsuit in August in federal court in Burlington. He alleged two members of the hospital board forced him to resign by threatening to fire him.

The defendants said they are immune from liability under the Volunteer Protection Act and because Ford was “an employee at will,” they have no obligation to give him warning about their decision to seek his resignation or terminate him.

They asked the court to dismiss Ford’s suit and award them costs, including legal fees.

Tennessee-based Quorum Health Resources and four of its employees also filed a memorandum in support of the board members’ motion to dismiss. The firm was also named in Ford’s suit and said that he failed to state a claim against them.

Ford’s attorney, Stephen Ellis, said his client stands behind his allegations.

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