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Tri-City, Scripps head to court over lawsuit

OCEANSIDE — On March 9, an appellate court upheld a trial court’s ruling that Tri-City Medical’s claims against Scripps Health are not subject to arbitration. Scripps, seeking arbitration, appealed the ruling to the California Supreme Court. 

But the court recently declined to review the appellate court’s ruling. As such, the case will go to trial.

In statement, Tri-City said: “Tri-City believes that Scripps’ motion to compel arbitration and its appeal of that motion to the court of appeal and then the supreme court were tactics designed to delay Tri-City from reaching the merits of the case.”

In a previous statement regarding the March 9 ruling, Scripps said the court’s decision only pertained to the type of legal forum and had nothing to do with the case itself.

Tri-City sued Scripps for allegedly directing patients from inside the boundaries of Tri-City’s healthcare district to Scripps’ facilities. In 2009, Scripps acquired Sharp Mission Park, where 65 doctors previously referred most patients through written agreements to Tri-City. After Scripps’ takeover, doctors began sending most patients to Scripps’ facilities.

Tri-City has argued that directing patients to Scripps facilities in Encinitas, and sometimes as far away as Chula Vista, has adversely affected their care.

In a previous statement, Scripps said: “Tri-City’s lawsuit dates back to 2009, when 65 doctors from Sharp Mission Park decided to join Scripps because they believed it was in the best interest of their patients.”