M.V. Hospital takes legal action against Joe Woodin

Complaint alleges the former CEO in default of a $250,000 loan.

In this March 2014 photo, Joseph Woodin, Gifford’s administrator, speaks at the annual meeting of the medical center’s corporators. Woodin was fired from his job at Martha's Vineyard Hospital.

The mysterious and messy divorce of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital (MVH) and former CEO Joe Woodin added a new wrinkle last week.

On March 5, attorneys for MVH filed a complaint in Dukes County Superior Court, which was amended on March 7, that states Woodin is in default of a $250,000 promissory note that he signed with the hospital on Jan. 5, 2017.

The note states that the hospital was to be paid $50,000 per year, plus accrued and unpaid interest at 1.95 percent. According to the complaint, the hospital can also call in the entire note if they part ways. “At the option of the lender, this note shall become immediately due and payable without notice or demand upon any of the following events of default … if the borrower ceases (voluntarily or involuntarily) to be an employee of the lender.”

The complaint states that Woodin has paid nothing back to date.

Woodin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Woodin was hired in February 2016, and took over as CEO in May 2016. To the surprise of many Islanders, MVH abruptly fired Wooden on June 7, 2017, after a near unanimous vote of the board.

Woodin filed for arbitration over his firing on Oct. 17, 2017, which was incorrectly stated on the MVH complaint as 2007. MVH filed counterclaims against Woodin, including the claim of breach over the promissory note, on Dec. 14, 2017. Woodin’s claims against the hospital and the MVH counterclaims remain filed under seal.

MVH wants to get paid back when Woodin sells his East Chop property, which is listed for $1.4 million, “as security for MVH on its claim on the promissory note, pending the outcome of arbitration.”

The negotiations are being mediated at Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS). According to its website, JAMS is “the largest private alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provider in the world … specializes in mediating and arbitrating complex, multiparty, business/commercial cases.”

MVH is represented by Boston-based Holtz & Reed LLP. Woodin is represented by Boston-based Burns & Levinson. The case will go before retired Judge Bonnie McLeod. No hearing dates have been set.