Friday, August 31, 2012
Lawsuits Seek To Overturn Centegra Huntley Hospital OK
Centegra CEO Michael Eesley told FEN that Monday Centegra was beginning construction drawings for the Huntley hospital and starting to line up financing. He was unaware that Mercy Alliance had filed the suit asking a 12th Circuit Court Judge to set aside last month's Illinois Health Facilities and Review Board approval of a certificate of need for the Huntley facility. The complaint from Mercy which lost a bid to build a competing hospital in Crystal Lake claims the decision was contrary to State and Board standards and "arbitrary and capricious". Wednesday's lawsuit by Sherman with a two year-old hospital down Randall Road from Centegra's proposed site says much the same thing.
Mercy attorney Steven Hoeft told FEN Friday he'd let the complaint speak for itself. Essentially, it seeks to re-argue the case against a Huntley hospital--that it isn't needed, would hurt competing hospitals and would push Centegra to or past the financial breaking point. Sherman's complaint is similar.
Centegra officials thought Friday that Barrington competitor Advocate Health Care would file a third lawsuit against the Huntley Hospital. Advocate, a defendant by statute in Mercy's complaint, filed a counter claim in that case Tuesday.
“It is surprising and extremely disappointing that Advocate, Mercy and Sherman have chosen to tell the people in Huntley and the surrounding southern McHenry and northern Kane county communities that they don’t deserve a hospital in their growing area," said Susan Milford, Centegra Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning. "The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved the Centegra Hospital–Huntley project because it met their guidelines for a new hospital, including a state approved bed need in our growing community. The opposing hospitals are disregarding these important facts at the expense of the health of our community.”
Presumably connected with the lawsuits, both Advocate and Sherman last week asked HFSRB for a written decision on Centegra Huntley's application including "the applicable criteria and factors...that were taken into consideration".
The Mercy and Sherman lawsuits said they were filed in Will County because HFSRB's votes about Centegra Huntley took place in Bolingbrook. No hearings are scheduled in either case yet but answers or appearances are required by Oct. 2.