Valley Medical Center's Hospital District Sues UW Medicine on Merger Legality
The public hospital district that owns Valley Medical Center in Renton, Wash., is suing University of Washington Medicine in Seattle to determine the legality of the governance of a strategic alliance between VMC and UW Medicine, according to a Komo News report.
The commissioners of Public Hospital District 1 voted 3-2 to authorize this litigation in October.
VMC and UW Medicine's strategic alliance was formed in June 2011, after VMC's five-member board voted to enter into the agreement. After the agreement, Paul Ramsey, CEO of UW Medicine, appointed eight additional individuals to VMC's board, bringing the total to 13.
Paul Joos, president of the hospital district commission, was elected to an open seat on the board after the VMC and UW Medicine deal was approved. Mr. Joos and two other commissioners claim the previous commissioners turned VMC over to an unelected board of trustees when it finalized the deal.
According to the report, Phil Talmadge, who represents members of VMC's board, said, "There's a group of unelected people of trustees who basically run the district, and they're immune from any kind of accountability to the voters."
According to Lou Peterson, an attorney representing UW Medicine, the lawsuit comes as a surprise and disappointment because in-house counsel and outside attorneys found no legal problems when the agreement was finalized, according to the report.
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