The Ontario, Calif.-based chain, which was forced to walk away from the $843 million deal this year, accuses Harris of entering into an “illegal scheme” with the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West in exchange for the union's financial and political support. The SEIU chapter has been one of Prime's greatest critics, but Prime counters that it has been the target of a corporate smear campaign for refusing to unionize its workers.
Harris imposed more than 300 conditions on the deal, many of which extended beyond the original terms. One condition, for instance, required Prime to keep the hospitals open and maintain services for as long as 10 years—twice the amount of time to which it had committed.
The attorney general's office said the conditions were necessary to ensure continuity of care.
“Prime's decision to walk away, and this lawsuit, reaffirms the concerns voiced at multiple community meetings, that Prime never intended to prioritize the continuity of vital health services,” Kristin Ford, press secretary for the attorney general's office, said in an e-mail.