HealthSouth Corp., Birmingham, Ala., continued to see fallout from the multibillion-dollar accounting fraud at the company, as a real estate investment trust received court permission to terminate its lease of two rehabilitation hospitals to the company. HealthSouth will continue to operate the hospitals in Braintree and Woburn, Mass., until Senior Housing Properties Trust finds another operator to take over the lease. At deadline, HealthSouth had not responded to a request for comment. Senior Housing Properties sought to terminate the lease as part of a 2003 lawsuit arguing that HealthSouth paid lower rent based on false financial information. The suit in Massachusetts Superior Court was filed after the Securities and Exchange Commission charged HealthSouth with falsifying financial reports. Senior Housing Properties said it lowered HealthSouth's rent in January 2002 to $8.7 million from $10.3 million and extended the lease to 2011 from 2006. The REIT is seeking the difference in the continuing portion of the lawsuit. Senior Housing Properties owns about 180 senior-living facilities and the two rehab hospitals. HealthSouth agreed in June to pay $100 million to settle the SEC claims. -- by Joseph Mantone
HealthSouth to lose hospital lease after court ruling
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