Both the BMC Hospital LLC and Hudson Regional Hospital declared victory after a judge ruled on a case about their ongoing battle for the Bayonne Medical Center this morning, though it remains uncertain if anyone actually gained any ground.
BMC had previously sought temporary restraints to prevent them from closing on a $76 million land sale for the property occupied by the Bayonne medical facility – which HRH said they did last month.
Hudson County Superior Court Judge dismissed this and other related claims, calling them “impermissible and unconstitutional,” which was of course music to the ears of HRH CEO Dr. Nizar Kifaieh.
“We expected this decision and applaud the Judge for recognizing the absurdity of BMC’s applications,” he began in a statement.
“It is a great misfortune to Hudson County that any healthcare organization would attempt to use the courts to disrupt straightforward business dealings between private parties, but BMC Hospital LLC is shameless in their pursuit of public funding that will enrich its partners and drain resources out of the public health system and cost taxpayers tens of millions.”
He also took aim at BMC Hospital, indicating that he feels they will “continue their reckless attempts to slander and interrupt” HRH’s plan to operate the Bayonne Medical Center, calling their attempt to use eminent domain to acquire the hospital property illegal.
Avery Eisenreich, the owner of Alaris Health and another defendant in this case, owns 70 percent of the Hoboken University Medical Center property and all of the BMC property.
The county began eminent domain proceedings in July after it was announced that HRH would be purchasing those properties from him for $220 million.
With all that in mind, BMC Hospital President Wayne Hatami pointed out in his own statement that the litigation remains active and calls into question whether or not HRH ever actually finalized their deal with the Bayonne hospital property.
“Today’s rulings show that Hudson Regional Health has been lying to the people of Bayonne. As the judge noted today, HRH does not in fact own the land under Bayonne Hospital,” he said.
“That completely contradicts statements they have made on repeated occasions. In light of this, the tens of thousands of patients who rely on Bayonne Hospital for care have a legitimate reason to wonder what else HRH is lying about.”
Hatami also pointed to an August 25th letter the New Jersey Department of Health as the first instance where they didn’t actually own the Bayonne hospital land, they only provided a small loan to the purchaser – a seemingly related LLC.
Additionally, BMC has maintained that they have a deal with CarePoint Health, the owner of the Bayonne Medical Center, that gives them exclusive rights to negotiate a plan where they would take over operations for the hospital.
While both sides continually look to the NJ DOH to put an end to this ongoing saga, they are yet to signal that there is any end in sight.
Today’s outcomes in superior court came shortly after the two medical groups traded punches over who absorbed more damage as the result of litigation with insurance giant Geico.