Hospital sues over faxes sent to community - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hospital sues over faxes sent to community

August 19, 2004

Albany - Phoebe Putney Hospital is suing over info sheets called Phoebe Factoids.  The lawsuit claims the faxes are deliberate attacks to hurt the hospitals reputation.

Maybe you've seen them, faxes that contain what's touted as inside information about Phoebe. The hospital says these Phoebe Factoids are lies and they say they know who's behind them and they're suiing. 

They are called Phoebe Factoids. Some have cartoons of Joel Warnick, the CEO at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, and others have a top ten list titled, Most Highly Guarded Secrets at Phoebe. Hospital Board Chairman, Lemuel Griffin says, "We want it stopped."

The faxes started popping up around Dougherty County in September.  Griffin adds,  "The malicious attacks placed against the hospital, the employees, and the administration is not something we take lightly."

Now, Phoebe says a nearby medical office employee is behind them. They've filed suit against Charles Rehberg, business manager at Albany Surgical P.C. Investigators say they traced the faxes to Rehberg's home and office. Hospital Attorney, Rick Langley, says, "These faxes varied from being somewhat ridiculous, to being absolutely scandalous they were filled with falsehood and mis representations and basicaly full of lies."

Rehberg could not comment on the Phoebe Factoids because it's a pending case, but he says Phoebe is trying to intimidate him.

Interestingly enough, Rehberg was hired by a law firm to look at websites to evaluate public financial data at hospitals nationwide. On his list was Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.  He was getting information for a separate lawsuit where non-profit hospitals, like Phoebe, are being sued for overcharging uninsured patients.

Phoebe says more people are involved in the Factoids and they will sue them as well. Langley adds, "It was a cowardly act and the act of cowards and we are about to drag the cowards into the sunlight."

Phoebe wants an unspecified amount of money in the Factoid lawsuit. 

Phoebe says they sent investigators to talk to Charles Rehberg a week ago to give him a chance to work things out before a lawsuit. Rehberg tells us men who claimed to be former F-B-I agents followed him and threatened him and his family.

posted at 5:55PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com