A Texas district judge limited potential arguments in a lawsuit involving the state, Texas Medical Center in Houston and Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.
State District Judge Carolyn Garcia ruled last week that Texas Medical Center's deed restrictions are valid and enforceable. The trial, scheduled to begin this week, will focus on whether the deal between investor-owned Columbia and one of Texas Medical Center's biggest members, not-for-profit St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, violates the deed restrictions.
The 50-year-old restrictions have prevented for-profit organizations from residing on Texas Medical Center property. Texas Medical Center is a 675-acre medical complex south of downtown Houston.
The suit was filed after St. Luke's proposed to turn day-to-day management over to Nashville, Tenn.-based Columbia. St. Luke's and Columbia are proposing to form three management service organizations that would be joint ventures between the two parties (May 20, p. 8). The trial is expected to last at least one week.