By Steven Tavares
A California Appellate Court judge has denied the Eden Township Healthcare District’s writ of mandate regarding its countersuit against Sutter Health. The suit alleges a conflict of interest over negotiations in 2008 that led to the reconstruction of Eden Medical Center and the unknown fate of San Leandro Hospital.
The ruling by the First Appellate District on Tuesday could mean dire consequences for the fate of San Leandro Hospital. The healthcare district’s appeal came after an Alameda County Superior Court judge ruled against its countersuit versus Sutter last November. The Board of Directors voted to appeal the decision a few days later. The District's filing of a writ of mandate is intending to the ask the appellate court to remedy any errors it alleges are contained in the Superior Court ruling.
Sutter had previously been successful in the courts last when a judge granted the Sacramento-based health provider the deed to San Leandro Hospital. Contained in the controversial 2008 memorandum of understanding was a provision allowing Sutter the right to purchase the property, which they invoked in 2009 and led to a spate of legal showdowns between it and the Eden Township.
The long, vociferous fight waged by local activists, nurses and doctors to save the community option may be running out of viable options after the appellate ruling. There have been reports from various employees of the hospital they were notified the hospital would stay open until at least June. Sutter already has an agreement with the Alameda County Medical Center to repurpose San Leandro Hospital into an acute rehabilitation center, replacing the seismically-deficient Fairmont Hospital.
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NOTE: A clarification including writ of mandate and definition was made to this article.
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