Now taking place: The Embody Well being trial of April Anthony

Now taking place: The Embody Well being trial of April Anthony

Dallas County’s 192nd Circuit Court docket will determine the case between post-acute care large Embody Well being and one among its former CEOs, April Anthony. The case hinges on whether or not Anthony, who left her place as CEO of Embody’s Dwelling Well being and Hospice division in 2021, violated the non-compete provision in her contract.

in keeping with a forbes Profil Anthony made $700 million shopping for and turning round residence well being companies, and in 2014 her firm was purchased by HealthSouth, which modified its identify to Embody Well being. Anthony oversaw the Division of Dwelling Well being and Hospices. The lawsuit alleges that “Anthony started creating plans to run her own residence well being and hospice enterprise independently of EHC and he or she started reaching out to workers at Embody Dwelling Well being to debate the thought and her allegiance.” safe” when her contract prohibited the conduct. Anthony says all the pieces she did was right.

Based on court docket paperwork, the troubles started in 2019 when Anthony and personal fairness teams contacted Embody about shopping for a majority stake within the residence well being care unit, together with a $250 million money supply from Anthony. The lawsuit says the supply raised questions at Embody, which thought confidential details about the corporate might need knowledgeable them given Anthony’s position. As Embody started soliciting extra bids for the Dwelling Well being division, Anthony advised her legal professional that “curiosity within the buy had waned,” and he or she left Embody shortly thereafter.

The lawsuit alleges that Anthony started planning to begin a brand new and competing firm earlier than she left, and cites a chart of forecasts for “Newco” wherein Embody staffers in new titles, fairness and the way how a lot they may earn as a part of the brand new firm are listed. As well as, the lawsuit alleges that Anthony mentioned the allocation of fairness within the new firm with Chris Walker, the brand new firm’s CFO/COO. “When he was CEO of Embody Dwelling Well being, Anthony was actively concerned in negotiating fairness incentives to induce at the least Walker to go away Embody and be a part of their new enterprise,” the lawsuit reads. Walker is now COO of Homecare Holdings.

The lawsuit additionally alleges that Anthony met with two non-public fairness teams, Nautic Companions and The Vistria Group, as a part of their bid to purchase again Embody’s residence well being division. Later, Nautic and Vistria started diligently shopping for Homecare Holdings, one among Embody’s largest opponents. The lawsuit alleges that Anthony’s attorneys offered her confidential homecare due diligence information whereas she labored at Embody.

The lawsuit alleges that Anthony defined the whole plan to Julie Jolley, Embody’s government vp of operations, amongst others. This allegedly occurred whereas they had been each at Embody, the place they allegedly confirmed Jolley a hand-drawn emblem and mentioned the brand new firm’s identify. Court docket paperwork additionally allege that Anthony suggested Jolley to resign after Anthony did it and later joined her at her residence in Couer d’Alene to debate technique. Nonetheless, Jolley didn’t resign the day after Anthony, which she was inspired to do after one other Embody worker warned her, and court docket paperwork declare that Anthony and the PE agency suggested her to “let issues relaxation” earlier than she takes a step.

The lawsuit alleges that Anthony took pains to hide her recruiting efforts, utilizing private laptops, behind-closed-doors conferences and her partner’s cell telephones to debate the corporate, and employed a recruitment agency to hold out her solicitation to her colleagues to cover and supposedly create a false paper path of official recruitment. The court docket paperwork embrace textual content conversations with Embody workers who mentioned how the non-public fairness agency “employed” the recruiter to contact the workers Anthony allegedly recruited.

The recruitment agency interviewed non-Embody workers for positions on the new firm, however solely former Embody workers obtained affords, court docket paperwork say. The lawsuit states that Anthony did greater than recruit her former colleagues into the brand new firm, as a substitute secretly operating it “from the shadows” in violation of her non-competition clause.

Anthony’s authorized counsel says she has not breached the settlement. Though she was in touch with Embody workers after her resignation, she says she meant to honor the non-compete clause. Court docket paperwork allege that Anthony contacted the non-public fairness corporations about collaborating on a brand new residence well being enterprise and that she could function CEO. “These discussions included an settlement that Ms. Anthony wouldn’t have a job in competing firms or make prohibited investments till the expiry of her contractual non-compete obligations,” the court docket paperwork mentioned.

The PE corporations have acquired new firm Homecare Holdings and hope Anthony will function CEO as soon as their non-competition clause expires, however Anthony has made no funding within the firm. She additionally denies having any position in operating the brand new firm. “MS. Anthony didn’t function a “advisor” for Homecare Holdings. She didn’t have a consulting contract with Homecare Holdings, had no outlined duties, scope of labor, or requested advantages, and obtained no compensation from Homecare Holdings.”

Anthony is an affiliate at Homecare Homebase, a house well being know-how firm she based. In that position, she met with Walker, Homecare Holdings’ COO, on the implementation of the Homecare Homebase software program that the brand new firm bought. These interactions targeted on the licensing, implementation, and use of the Homecare Homebase software program, in keeping with court docket paperwork, and didn’t violate their employment contract.

In all, 5 Embody executives left for Homecare Holdings after Anthony’s departure, though they testified they weren’t recruited. These workers mentioned new alternatives, conflicts with managers, and dissatisfaction with their place led to their departure, not Anthony’s alleged courtship. “MS. Anthony didn’t, straight or not directly, trigger or try to trigger any of those present or former Embody workers to go away their employment with Embody or to hitch Homecare Holdings, or in any other case intervene with the connection between Embody and these workers,” court docket paperwork mentioned.

We should always have a verdict on the case by the top of the summer time, and we’ll replace when one is reached.


Will is the managing editor for D Managing Director Journal and writer of D CEO Healthcare. He has written about healthcare…

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