EMSA files lawsuit for breach of contract


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – EMSA officials say they have filed a lawsuit against another company for what they say is a breach of contract.

On Wednesday, EMSA filed a lawsuit against American Medical Response, Inc. after officials said AMR refused to pay more than $16 million in contractual obligations.

EMSA holds the ambulance license with the state of Oklahoma. EMSA owns and leases things like ambulances, equipment and other infrastructure and collects revenues.

It contracted with AMR since 2013 to provide the ambulance services and staffing for certain areas.

However, EMSA officials say AMR has refused to pay the amount due under their contract.

“While we regret having to take legal action against AMR, we must act in the best interest of the Oklahomans we serve, which includes being fiscally responsible with patient and taxpayer dollars,” said Wiley Williams, Chairman of the EMSA Board. “EMSA’s number one priority remains to provide the highest quality emergency medical care possible, and I want to emphasize that this lawsuit will not result in any interruption to EMSA’s services.”

KFOR reached out to AMR and received this statement:

“At EMSA’s request, AMR stepped in to take over the Tulsa and Oklahoma City EMS system in 2013. Around that time, federal prosecutors were investigating EMSA and its prior ambulance provider over a controversial profit cap payment to the Authority from its prior ambulance provider. That case settled in 2018 with substantial payments made to the federal government by EMSA and its prior ambulance provider. Only after settling with the federal government did EMSA begin demanding that AMR make similar payments, which had been considered unlawful by the federal government. AMR consistently refrained from making those payments until it could receive assurance from the federal government or a federal judge that it was being asked to do something that was lawful and appropriate.

AMR has been working in good faith for more than a year to resolve any differences in an appropriate manner while ensuring we were compliant with laws. AMR has offered other solutions where we could reduce future costs so that the EMSA and public could get appropriate, substantial future financial benefits without risk of violating federal law.

Nevertheless, without prior notice to AMR, EMSA sued AMR today after it unilaterally withheld the same $16 million in operating funds over the last 120 days that were due to AMR for providing life-saving services under its contract. With the recent lawsuit, AMR will now either get comfort from a federal judge that the payments are lawful, or the court will let EMSA know that taking $16 million from AMR was wrong. 

Through all of this, AMR has continued to provide service and care to the Tulsa and Oklahoma City communities.”


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