Healthcare Business News

Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging Scripps deal

By Beth Kutscher
Posted: March 12, 2013 - 6:30 pm ET

A California judge has dismissed a lawsuit stemming from a turf war between two San Diego-area healthcare providers.

In an order that ended a four-year legal fight, Judge Earl Maas of the Superior Court of California threw out the 2009 lawsuit that Tri-City Medical Center filed against competitor Scripps Health.

Tri-City Medical, a 330-bed public hospital in Oceanside, about 40 miles north of San Diego, filed suit against Scripps Health after the four-hospital system based in San Diego acquired the former Sharp Mission Park medical group and subsequently hired 65 Tri-City physicians.

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The decision to go to court came as Tri-City faced mounting challenges, including decreasing revenue, increasing debt, declining patient volume and allegations of mismanagement.

Maas in his order said that Tri-City had not shown that Scripps engaged in unfair competition.

Tri-City did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.

In a news release, Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder said the system is “pleased with the judge’s decision” but blasted the “significant” resources that had been expended on both sides. “The time and money Tri-City has spent pursuing this case is a waste of public funds,” he said.

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