Palmetto Health to fight $50M lawsuit over orthopedic practice


Cleveland-based Sisters of Charity Health System, the former owner of Providence Hospitals in Columbia, S.C., filed a $50 million lawsuit against Palmetto Health last week, alleging the system is responsible for the demise of Providence's orthopedic practice. Columbia-based Palmetto says the suit is "meritless."

Sisters of Charity began affiliation discussions with other systems, including Palmetto, in 2013. According to the lawsuit, it was during these discussions that Palmetto became aware that orthopedic services provided at Moore Center for Orthopedics were Providence Hospital's most profitable service line. With that information, Palmetto allegedly secretly tried to steal Providence's orthopedic business.

In April 2015, the Moore Center of Orthopedics announced plans to join Palmetto. Sisters of Charity alleges this action damaged negotiations with Brentwood, Tenn.-based LifePoint Health, which purchased Providence in February.

Commenting on the lawsuit Friday, Palmetto said, "We were extremely disappointed when we learned that the Sisters of Charity, who chose to stop providing healthcare services to the people in our community and sold Providence Hospitals to an out-of-state corporation, have decided to waste valuable resources on a meritless and unfounded legal matter."

Palmetto said it will "vigorously defend" itself against the suit.

More articles on healthcare industry lawsuits:

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Fight over Advocate-NorthShore merger gets underway in appellate court
Class-action suit against ex-operator of shuttered NC hospital moves forward

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