Ex-employee, Rotech seek to settle suit

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

ORLANDO, Fla. - Rotech Healthcare and a former employee who now alleges he lost thousands of dollars as part of a company scheme to garner VA business were scheduled to meet with a federal mediator last month.

The goal of mediation is to hammer out a settlement. If Mike Rogers and Rotech can’t reach an agreement, a jury will decide the issue. Jury selection for the case is scheduled for Nov. 12-13. A trial will follow shortly thereafter, said Roger’s attorney, Kurt Truelove.

In his lawsuit against Rotech, Mike Rogers alleges that Rotech officers and other high-level employees used Rotech’s money to form small businesses that were owned and operated by Rotech personnel. The “set asides” were created to garner VA business intended for small businesses, Rogers alleges in is lawsuit.

Rotech officials did not return a phone call for this story.

Rogers claims Rotech management recruited him to run a “set aside” - RO2AM in Shreveport, La. - in July 2001. They also required him to quit his regional manager job but promised to rehire him if RO2AM’s bid to garner VA business failed, according to court documents.

In the end, Rotech never landed the VA contract, and then abandoned Rogers and left him holding the debt related to the failed RO2AM venture, according to court documents.

Rogers is suing Rotech for fraud, claiming Rotech officials lied when they told him the VA contract was a near certainty and that he’d get his job back if the venture failed.

The lawsuit also alleges that former CEO Steve Linehan and former COO Scott Novell assured Rogers that creating set asides “was legal and approved by Rotech.”