An Idaho jury has awarded MRI Associates of Idaho, a Boise-based radiology services provider, $52 million in a civil lawsuit brought against St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center for breach of contract and other claims.
MRI vendor wins breach-of-contract suit
The 398-bed Boise hospital is part of Trinity Health, Novi, Mich.
The plaintiff in the 4-year-old lawsuit operates MRI Center of Idaho and a mobile MRI service provider. The group accused St. Alphonsus of establishing and supporting a competitor while in partnership with MRI Associates "and interfering with the relationships between MRI Associates and the physicians who had previously referred their patients to MRI Associates," according to a statement by the plaintiff's law firm, Banducci Woodard Schwartzman, of Boise.
Plaintiff's attorney Wade Woodward said in the statement that the jury determined that the hospital "breached the fiduciary duties it owed to its partners, breached the MRI Associates' partnership agreement, breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, interfered with contractual relations and committed a civil conspiracy."
It was the second jury award for the plaintiffs in the same dispute. In 2007, a jury awarded MRI Associates $63.5 million, but the judgment was cut in 2009 to $36 million on appeal by the Idaho Supreme Court, which also ordered a retrial, according to the statement.
A hospital statement said it "is studying our grounds for appeal" of the jury decision and "believes that there are a number of substantial issues" for the Idaho Supreme Court to consider. St. Alphonsus "declines further comment at this time, as the matter remains in active litigation," the hospital added.
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