The second trial against Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, San Diego, ended in a mistrial, for the same reason as the first: The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict. Tenet Healthcare Corp., Dallas, which owns Alvarado, said U.S. District Judge M. James Lorenz in San Diego declared a mistrial today. Alvarado, former Chief Executive Officer Barry Weinbaum and a Tenet subsidiary stand accused of conspiring to pay kickbacks to physicians for admitting large numbers of patients to the hospital. The kickbacks allegedly took the form of overly generous agreements to relocate new physicians to the existing admitter's practice. "This case has amply demonstrated that the law surrounding physician-relocation agreements is complicated and subject to differing interpretations," Tenet General Counsel Peter Urbanowicz said in a news release. At deadline, the U.S. attorney's office in San Diego was not immediately available for comment, so it was not known if the office would seek a third trial. The second jury deliberated for more than 60 days over the past four months after a seven-month trial, Tenet said. The first case ended in a mistrial in February 2005. -- by Vince Galloro
Second mistrial declared in Alvarado kickback case
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.