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Superior Court Rules in Favor of Mecklenburg County
In an order filed today, Superior Court Judge Robert C. Ervin substantially granted Mecklenburg County’s Motion to Dismiss a lawsuit filed on July 14, 2011 against the County by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority (dba, Carolinas HealthCare System, CHS) lawsuit attempted to force the County to continue annual taxpayer subsidies to local hospital systems of at least $17.8 million under a 2000 Interlocal Agreement (an agreement between two governmental entities) with CHS. CHS also asked the Court to declare it not in breach of the Interlocal Agreement in failing to provide the County with certain data and information regarding the County’s subsidy of hospital-based behavioral health services.

Adopting the County’s position, the Court concluded that the Board of County Commissioners retained discretion to cease subsidizing local hospital systems and that CHS had no right to sue the County for damages.

The Court has given CHS 30 days to elect whether to continue under the Interlocal Agreement or alternatively terminate the Agreement. If CHS elects to terminate, the County will have 14 days to determine whether to contest CHS’s action.

“Mecklenburg County taxpayers are the beneficiary of the Court’s decision to dismiss this lawsuit,” said County Manager Harry Jones. “We are gratified that our position to support taxpayers has prevailed.”

The County was represented by Dan Bishop of the Charlotte firm, Erwin Bishop Capitano & Moss.

Order of Motion to Dismiss

Media Contact: Rick Christenbury @ 704-577-2587

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