Norton files lawsuit in fight over partnership

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Associated Press

Posted on September 8, 2013 at 4:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A lawsuit has been filed in the wake of a partnership announced by Kentucky's two children's hospitals.

Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville and the University of Kentucky HealthCare's Kentucky Children's Hospital in Lexington said last month that both institutions had signed a letter of intent to partner.

The announcement brought a quick reaction from the University of Louisville, which said the partnership could jeopardize U of L's relationship with Norton Healthcare, which owns Kosair. U of L then accused Norton of violating a land-lease agreement by entering into the partnership.

The Courier-Journal (http://cjky.it/15LYwJb) reports Norton Healthcare filed suit on Friday and requested the court "to declare (University of Louisville) threats against Kosair Children's Hospital to be without legal basis."

"Norton has urged U of L leaders to withdraw their notice of breach and join Norton in a constructive dialogue to address mutual concerns in a manner that best services the interests of all children in the Commonwealth," Norton Chief Executive Officer Stephen Williams said. "Even though U of L's threats are without basis, Norton has provided assurances it would address their concerns."

U of L issued a statement calling the filing of the lawsuit "unfortunate."

"The University of Louisville's repeated attempts to meet and negotiate have been rejected again and again by Norton's CEO, who told us today that he will neither meet nor negotiate while their lawsuit is pending," the statement said. "This is a disturbing trend in dealing with Norton as we try to resolve these complicated matters in a way that best meets the needs of Kosair Children's Hospital, the patients we serve and UofL's Department of Pediatrics."

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com

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