Chelsea Partington Jan. 9, 2015, 4:48pm


NEW ORLEANS – A Louisiana social services company is suing a nonprofit for allegedly terminating a work contract improperly, and then hiring a social worker recently employed by the company in violation of a pre-existing work agreement between the company and the nonprofit.

OPS Family Care LLC filed suit against Choice Foundation in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

OPS claims it entered into a contract with Choice to provide social services, including mental health services, to students at McDonogh 42 Elementary School. The plaintiff asserts that the contract was executed on July 26, 2013 through Choice's representative, Dr. Anna Faye Caminita.

OPS claims that another representative of Choice's, Fran Trujillo, also executed an "Informal Working Agreement" in which Choice agreed not to hire any social worker used by OPS to perform services required under the contract while any such social worker was employed by OPS or for a period of two years after the social worker left OPS' employ.

The petition states that Choice was obliged to pay OPS $3,400 per month for services provided during the entire 2013-2014 academic year, which was to end May 30, 2014.

OPS alleges that Choice could not terminate the contract without providing at least 30 days written notice, said termination could not be arbitrary or capricious, and Choice was required to attempt to resolve any issues that effect the provision of OPS' services through a formal conference with OPS before a decision to terminate the contract could be made.

According to the suit, Choice provided written notification to OPS of the contract's termination on Sept. 4, 2013 without holding a formal conference or giving 30 days notice.

OPS asserts that Choice hired a former OPS employee, Beulah Moore, on Sept. 30, 2013. The plaintiff contests that Moore had resigned effective Aug. 30, 2013, and was hired by Choice on terms similar to OPS' original contract with Choice.

The defendant is accused of breach of contract by maliciously and intentionally terminating a contract under false pretenses.

The plaintiff seeks an unknown amount in damages.

OPS Family Care LLC is represented by Craig B. Mitchell of Mitchell & Associate APLC.

The case has been assigned to District N Judge Ethel S. Julien.

Case no. 2014-08692.

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