The legal back and forth over public records continues in Kentucky as the Jefferson County attorney's office, which represents Louisville, filed a lawsuit against the University of Louisville (PDF) demanding the release of documents related to the pending three-hospital merger involving the university's hospital.
County attorney seeks documents on Ky. merger
Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell filed the lawsuit Tuesday and held a news conference. He said it's the public's right to see financial records regarding the deal that would give Catholic Health Initiatives the majority stake in University Hospital in Louisville. O'Connell's lawsuit is a reaction to the school's counter lawsuit filed Nov. 21. That lawsuit maintained that University Hospital was a private entity and didn't have to release public records, as requested by various local media and the Kentucky chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Earlier in November, the Kentucky attorney general ruled University Hospital a public entity, and thus vulnerable to the state's open records law. The university's lawsuit served as an appeal to that ruling by Attorney General Jack Conway.
The $620 million transaction also involves Denver-based CHI's St. Joseph Health System in Lexington, Ky., and Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare in Louisville. The 32-page lawsuit named University of Louisville President James Ramsey and university attorney Angela Koshewa as defendants. The lawsuit could impact the merger, which has already gained federal approval. It still needs Gov. Steve Beshear and the Roman Catholic Church's OK. Hospital officials hope to close the deal by Jan. 1.
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