“I believe they have the right to make that choice,” Comley said. “We’re not in jail and we’re not a socialist country, yet.” In September, Comley claimed 25% of his roughly 50 employees refused to be vaccinated, a decision he said he did not have the moral right to enforce. Sea View Skilled Nursing & Rehab Services has been owned by the Comley family since 1954. Licensed to care up to 140 residents, there were about 30 residents there as of September.
When reached for comment Wednesday, Comley declined to speak about the lawsuit other than to say it had been “settled.” Sea View owner Steve Comley Jr. created waves in September when he threatened to close the facility if the state forced him to vaccinate all employees by Oct. 10. As of Wednesday, the business remained open.
Comley’s claim could not be confirmed, however. A Salem Superior Court clerk said that as of Wednesday afternoon, the lawsuit remained active but a court date has not been scheduled. A phone call to a TridentCare spokesperson was not returned. Numerous attempts to collect the debt have been fruitless, prompting laboratory officials to seek the court’s help, according to the lawsuit.
“Sea View has refused to meaningfully respond to TridentCare’s repeated requests for payment, or otherwise make any additional payments that it owes TridentCare for the services TridentCare performed under the COVID testing agreement,” the lawsuit reads. The lawsuit includes a breach of contract claim that resulted in TridentCare suffering damages. Although Sea View paid for many of the tests, it still has to pay $62,231, not including interest and late fees. TridentCare made “multiple attempts” to collect the money, but to no avail. Those attempts included spending money on lawyers and additional costs.
Sea View agreed to pay any invoice sent to it by TridentCare within 30 days and also agreed to pay a 5% late fee as well as interest of 1% per month for any outstanding balances, according to the lawsuit. Sea View entered into an agreement with TridentCare on June 5, 2020, to test facility employees for COVID-19 at $155 per test.
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