Brookwood, St. Vincent’s appeals against Trinity relocation denied

Published 1:18 pm Friday, January 11, 2013

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

BIRMINGHAM — The lights on the now-vacant HealthSouth hospital on U.S. 280 will remain green for now.

The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals Jan. 11 denied Brookwood Medical Center and St. Vincent’s Health System the chance to argue against Trinity Medical Center’s relocation to the former HealthSouth building, according to a Trinity statement.

In addition, the court’s Nov. 30 ruling — in which the court reinstated Trinity’s certificate of need and ordered Montgomery District Judge Jimmy Pool to rule in favor of Trinity, after he had earlier blocked the certificate of need — remains in effect.

Trinity Medical Center CEO Keith Granger said he hopes the court’s latest ruling will put an end to the “legal wrangling” surrounding the proposed relocation.

“We appreciate the court’s decision today and we are delighted to take another important step forward in our relocation,” Granger said in a statement.  “We are hopeful this will mark the end of the legal wrangling and the beginning of improved access to healthcare and the creation of thousands of new jobs.”

However, the appeals process may not be at an end. Brookwood and St. Vincent’s can elect to take their case to the Alabama Supreme Court, according to the statement.

In a statement, David Hunt, an attorney for St. Vincent’s, said representatives of the system are “considering our options.”

“We are considering our options in light of the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals’ decision today regarding Trinity Medical Center’s attempt to move from the community they serve,” Hunt said. “Naturally, we are disappointed and don’t believe this ruling protects the integrity of the health planning system. We continue to believe that all providers must play by the same rules.”

Jim Williams, an attorney for Brookwood, said Brookwood system administrators are considering taking the case to the state Supreme Court.

“We are evaluating our options as to whether to file our petition with the Supreme Court next week,” he said.