Jury orders Tri-City Medical Center to pay nearly $20M for breached contract

A jury has ordered Oceanside, Calif.-based Tri-City Medical Center to pay a private management and funding company nearly $20 million, plus attorney fees, in a dispute regarding the hospital's three-story medical office building, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Jurors agreed unanimously that Tri-City Medical Center should pay Medical Acquisition Company $19.7 million for a 57,000-square foot medical office building that has been vacant since construction was completed in 2013.

The building has remained vacant due to an estranged contract agreement between the two entities that began in 2011. However, the deal fell apart in 2012, and Tri-City eventually seized the property through eminent domain.

The hospital claimed that conflicts of interest between former CEO Larry Anderson — who was fired in October 2013 — and one of its board members, RoseMarie Reno, invalidated the contract with MAC. However, MAC argued there was no conflict of interest and the hospital owed the company the highest fair market value for the building.

Charly Perez, president of MAC, said he was relieved by the court's verdict. "It was a longtime in coming," he said in a statement, according to the San Diego Business Journal. "Now all we want is for the community to be served by the building as it was intended, and to be paid for the value we contributed."

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