Kanawha judge denies request to stay Cabell, St. Mary’s merger

By Kyla Asbury | Sep 2, 2016

CHARLESTON – Kanawha Circuit Judge James C. Stucky denied Steel of West Virginia’s petition for a motion for stay in the lawsuit hoping to stop a merger between Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center.

Stucky denied Steel’s motion for stay pending review on Aug. 22, ruling that he would not halt the hospital acquisition until after the appeal process, which began earlier in August.

The judge also denied Cabell’s motion to dismiss on Aug. 18, ruling that he and his court had jurisdiction over the appeal, after Cabell filed its motion to dismiss on Aug. 2.

The West Virginia Health Care Authority and Cabell believe Kanawha Circuit Court has no jurisdiction in the matter and believe that West Virginia law states the appeals of the WVHCA must be done to the Office of Judges’ Bureau of Employment Programs.

In its appeal, Steel claimed that the WVHCA committed at least six errors of fact and law in allowing the cooperative agreement.

Stucky found that Steel did not prove it would likely prevail on the merits of the appeal, that it would suffer harm if the stay was not granted, that Cabell would not be substantially harmed by the stay and the public interest would be served by the stay.

Steel of West Virginia has until Sept. 12 to submit its brief to the circuit court presenting its case for the appeal. Cabell Huntington will have 30 days to respond.

In 2014, the Pallottine Sisters announced plans to sell the hospital. Cabell began the acquisition then.

In November 2014, a transfer agreement was signed between the two hospitals. The WVHCA approved the hospital’s certificate of need in January and approved the cooperative agreement in June.

Steel of West Virginia has listed six “errors of fact and law” it alleges the WVHCA made when it approved the cooperative agreement.

The case was originally filed on July 22.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 16-AA-56

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