A lawsuit seeking to void a management contract between Quorum Health Resources and Paulding (Ohio) County Hospital was dropped last week because the plaintiffs couldn't afford to go to trial.
Eight residents of the rural county in northwest Ohio filed suit in November 1994 to nullify Quorum's five-year management contract with the 51-bed county hospital. The contract, worth more than $1 million over five years, expires in February 1998.
The plaintiffs contended the public hospital's management contract violated Ohio law because it wasn't approved by Paulding County voters.
The suit, filed in Paulding County Common Pleas Court, named Quorum, the hospital's board and the county Board of Commissioners as defendants.
In an effort to expedite the legal process, the plaintiffs filed a motion in March seeking a ruling based only on the interpretation of the contract, which would exclude the presentation of other evidence. However, the court ruled that the defendants were entitled to a full trial in which they could present evidence.
Plaintiff David Goyings said his side spent about $12,000 on legal fees, all from private donations. He said a trial would cost about $10,000 more, and an appeal could run another $10,000. The taxpayers filed a motion to dismiss the case voluntarily last week.
"As far as going further, it's not good sense," Goyings said. "We just could not sustain the costs of a trial
...It's very disheartening."