SAN DIEGO: Appeals Court Allows Grossmont Hospital to Revive Suit
Almost a decade after Grossmont Hospital joined Sharp HealthCare, a state appeals court Thursday cleared the way for the hospital to revive a lawsuit against Sharp, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The appeals court ruling reverses an earlier San Diego Superior Court decision that the statute of limitations precluded Grossmont from filing a suit against Sharp to nullify the 30-year lease signed by the two parties in 1991. Court filings from the 1997 suit alleged that Grossmont administrator Michael Erne and Grossmont attorney John Whitney "stood to benefit financially" from the deal with Sharp, constituting a "conflict of interests" and a "violation of state law." Superior Court Judge Raymond Zvetina dismissed the suit in 1998, contending that the district had "at most a four year window within which the suit had to be filed." Thursday's decision from the 4th District Court of Appeals in San Diego reversed the Superior Court ruling, arguing that the statute of limitations must be balanced "against the strong state interest to assure the undivided and uncompromised allegiance of public officers and employees in the performance of their official duties" (Fong, 4/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.