Claiming his impartiality might be questioned, U. S. District Court Judge James C. England disqualified himself Friday from hearing a wrongful termination suit brought by two former Lester E. Cox Medical Center employees.
In a terse one-page document filed Friday with the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, England ordered that the case be returned for reassignment. Later the same day, the case was transferred to Judge Gary Fenner, according to court records.
As revealed first in the June 9 Turner Report, Roger Cochran, Nixa, and Dennis Morris, Springfield, claim they were fired because they cooperated with a federal investigation into possible criminal activity by hospital officials. That activity, the two former employees said, included using an illegal method to jack up Medicare reimbursements for dialysis patients and giving kickbacks to doctors who referred patients to the dialysis center, but who did no other work for the money.