LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- A judge dismissed an antitrust lawsuit alleging that two-hospital Greater Lafayette Health Services used illegal tactics to block a physicians group from building a 140-bed hospital in the town last year. U.S. District Judge Allen Sharp dismissed the lawsuit by Arnett Clinic, a practice of about 155 doctors. The clinic halted construction on the $150 million project last year, about a week or so after breaking ground, and in a news release at the time said "road blocks" erected by Greater Lafayette made it "impractical" to proceed. Clinic and hospital officials did not return calls seeking comment. According to published reports, Sharp said none of the individual acts alleged were illegal and in his decision wrote: "This court will not cobble those legal actions together in an attempt to divine some overall wrongdoing."
MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the state's cap on noneconomic damages in medical liability cases, ruling 4-3 that the cap violated the state Constitution. In a joint news release, the state medical society and hospital association expressed disappointment. "Wisconsin's system has been a model for the rest of the country and has been credited with attracting physicians to practice in our state," Wisconsin Hospital Association President Steve Brenton said in the release. The court said the caps appeared arbitrary and unreasonably low and discriminated against the very young, who might live for several decades with the effects of a wrongful injury. The cap was set at $350,000 in 1995 and with adjustments for inflation had risen to $445,775 this year.
CHICAGO -- A probe into bribery and corruption in the approval, financing and construction of Illinois hospitals and medical schools widened with the indictment of a second prominent political player. John Glennon, 53, once a top aide to former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, a Republican, was charged with criminal conspiracy for allegedly helping to conceal more than $700,000 in kickbacks. Stuart Levine, former vice chairman of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board and a prominent Republican power broker, was charged in an earlier indictment. Glennon could not be reached for comment.