Health Care

Parties in Hospice Care lawsuits settle

Mark and Karen Rowe and Hospice Care of Kansas and its parent companies have settled their legal disagreements, according to representatives for both parties.

Neither would reveal terms of the settlement.

Hospice Care of Kansas and its parent companies, Voyager HospiceCare Holdings and Voyager HospiceCare, filed a lawsuit against Mark Rowe in November 2008, alleging he violated noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements.

Rowe, who founded Hospice Care of Kansas, sold the company in 2004. He now owns Rivercross Hospice, which has locations in Wichita and Oklahoma.

In September, Karen Rowe filed a lawsuit against Voyager HospiceCare Holdings, alleging she'd been denied information and proceeds from its sale to Harden Healthcare earlier this year.

When Mark Rowe sold Hospice Care of Kansas, he purchased shares in Voyager HospiceCare; he later transferred those shares to Karen Rowe, his wife.

Mark Rowe said both lawsuits had been settled "and we're very pleased with the outcome." He wouldn't release details of the settlement but said, "I'm glad it's over."

Lynn Preheim of Stinson Morrison Hecker, one of the attorneys for Hospice Care of Kansas, said Wednesday, "There has been a settlement between the parties. Overall, the terms are confidential."

"All the disputes between Voyager and the Rowes have been resolved."

Rowe started Hospice Care of Kansas in 1999 and expanded it into one of the largest hospice organizations in the state.

Voyager's lawsuit said Rowe signed several noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements when he sold the company. It said he approached several employees before the agreements expired, asking each whether they would work for him in the future.

Karen Rowe's lawsuit said Voyager and its board members had failed to provide her with information about the sale to Harden and with an accounting of the proceeds. It said others had received their share of the sales proceeds.