Madison - St. Clair Record

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Godfrey rehab facility denies it lied about non-compete agreement

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Jan 13, 2015

A Godfrey rehab facility accused of lying to keep an employee from working for a competing company has denied the allegations against it.

According to plaintiff Kerri Karlas’s Sept. 29 complaint, she worked for defendant Halcyon Rehabilitation LLC as a senior director of rehabilitation and as a speech and language pathologist for Blue Fountain Manor in Godfrey from July 2007 to March 2014.

Karlas claims she never signed a non-compete agreement or contract that restricted her employment after leaving Halcyon.

Then in early 2014, Blue Fountain Manor allegedly terminated its contract with Halcyon and entered into a new contract with TriCare Rehab to provide the same or similar services at the Godfrey facility, the suit states.

“TriCare Rehab indicated an unambiguous and clear desire and intent to hire plaintiff to work at the Blue Fountain Manor if there was no Halcyon restrictions on plaintiff’s employment or fee owed to Halcyon,” the complaint alleges.

Karlas contends Halcyon President Connie Conroy “falsely represented” to TriCare that the employee was under a non-compete agreement or restrictive covenant that would have required TriCare to pay Halcyon.

In her lawsuit, the plaintiff claims the defendant knew she intended to work for TriCare and “purposefully interfered” by intentionally making false representations about her.

In its Dec. 30 response, the defendant denies the allegations against it and alleges the complaint fails to state a cause of action for which relief can be granted.

Karlas denied the affirmative defense in her Jan. 5 response.

The plaintiff seeks more than $50,000 in actual and punitive damages.

Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth scheduled a case management conference for Feb. 25 at 9 a.m.

Lee W. Barron and William D. Buchanan represent the plaintiff.

The defendant is represented by Charles J. Swartwout of Boyle Brasher, LLC, in Belleville and Karen A. Doner of Roth Doner Jackson, PLC, in McLean, Va.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 14-L-1331

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