DETROITSt. John Health System is closing 285-bed St. John Detroit Riverview Hospital, but the planned sale of the site isnt likely to close anytime soon. A state court judge last week granted a temporary injunction against the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institutes plans to move into the vacated hospital.
The Detroit Medical Center sued to stop Karmanos from moving to the Riverview Hospital site. In 2004, Karmanos acquired the DMC cancer facilities it had been managing andin the DMCs view of the dealpromised to maintain a cancer hospital on the seven-hospital systems downtown campus. Karmanos decision to buy Riverview and jump ship was a breach of contract, the system argued.
What (the judge) said was the contract between DMC and Karmanos required Karmanos to keep its cancer hospital on DMCs main campus and that moving to Riverview would be a unilateral breach of the contract, DMC President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Duggan said in an interview after the judge ruled July 10. Unfortunately it took two months of litigation to resolve that, and thats where we are.
Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Gershwin Drain listened to five days of testimony beginning July 2 and even took a field trip to observe the DMC site in question. During his testimony, Duggan told Drain that losing the prestige and lucrative draw of Karmanos would be a stake in our heart. Karmanos, meanwhile, is unlikely to appeal the decision, spokeswoman Patricia Ellis said.
We have a different understanding of the agreement and felt we had a strong case, Ellis said in a written statement.
The deal with St. John to purchase Riverview was contingent on securing permission for the move, Ellis said.
St. John, meanwhile, will continue to work with Karmanos as the institute decides what to do next, said Bob Hoban, St. Johns chief strategy officer, in a written statement.