The former controller at a Collinsville laboratory filed a retaliatory discharge lawsuit against the lab and its co-owners, St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville and Saint Anthony's Health Center in Alton, in Madison County Circuit Court May 1.

Lynn Byrd claims he was terminated April 7, 2005, after having reported that the chief executive officer of Tri-Lab had engaged in serious misconduct, including operating the lab in violation of credentialing requirements, illegally withholding money to the Illinois Department of Public Aid, violating testing standards and manipulating revenue projections so as to fraudulently misrepresent the financial standing of Tri-Lab.

Byrd, represented by attorney Lee W. Barron of Alton, is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for lost wages and benefits, as well as for emotional distress. He also seeks attorneys' fees and costs of the suit.

According to the complaint, the hospitals' human resource managers arrived at Byrd's office and informed him that he was being terminated.

Tri-Lab is co-owned by St. Elizabeth's Hospital and Saint Anthony's Health Center, according to the complaint.

Byrd also claims the defendants violated the Illinois Whistleblower Act.

"Defendants terminated plaintiff's employment in retaliation for plaintiff's refusal to participate in the conduct described," the complaint states.

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