New Jersey health system demands $20M in suit over failed merger

Camden, N.J.-based Cooper University Health Care has upped its demand to $20 million in a lawsuit against Maxis Health System, a division of Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health, according to the Courier Post.

Cooper signed a letter of intent in August 2017 to acquire Camden-based Lourdes Health System and Trenton, N.J.-based Francis Medical Center from Maxis Health System. After undertaking a due-diligence period, Cooper abandoned the proposed transaction in December 2017, alleging "various unlawful and/or improper non-compliance issues, federal audits and investigations and severe liabilities facing Lourdes and St. Francis," according to the Courier Post.

Within days of calling off the deal, Cooper sued Maxis to recoup the $15 million placed in escrow for the transaction. Maxis refused to return the deposit, alleging Cooper violated a confidentiality agreement by identifying the due diligence issues in its lawsuit.

Cooper, which denies that it violated the confidentiality agreement, recently requested an additional $5 million from Maxis to cover the costs of due diligence that led it to abandon the transaction.

Maxis responded with an amended counterclaim alleging Cooper improperly used confidential information to try to recruit cardiologists from one of its hospitals included in the failed transaction. Cooper denies the allegations.

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