Federal Judge Stops Erlanger Foreclosure Of Hutcheson Hospital

Friday, August 1, 2014

In a ruling Friday, a Federal Court Judge in Rome agreed with Hutcheson Medical Center and Regions Bank to grant the request for an injunction, effectively stopping the foreclosure efforts of Erlanger Health System against Hutcheson.

In stopping the foreclosure set for next Tuesday, the judge held that the public interest in keeping the hospital doors open was “insurmountable.” 

Erlanger and Hutcheson have been locked in litigation - with Erlanger claiming it is owed $20 million for its services in helping the ailing hospital and Hutcheson making counter-claims.

 

“Hutcheson Medical Center serves 85,000 patients annually and employs 850 local citizens,” stated Farrell Hayes, President and CEO of Hutcheson, “and we are very pleased that the mission of this hospital will continue. We are encouraged by the hospital’s performance as we continue to show substantial and rapid improvement in operations.”

He said inpatient volume has increased 30 percent over the past three months and that oncology volume has doubled under the direction of the hospital’s new management team.

Mr. Hayes went on to say, “I think it is important to note that these dramatic gains occurred after the management agreement with Erlanger was terminated.”

Former Governor Roy Barnes and lead legal counsel for Hutcheson said the judge "was very aware of the negative impact that would occur with a foreclosure." He said, “I am very pleased that the judge understands the importance of this hospital and the tremendous damage to the community served by HMC that would occur with a foreclosure.”

Erlanger officials said the judge "temporarily postponed Erlanger’s foreclosure of the Hutcheson property in Fort Oglethorpe granted to Erlanger Health System for its $20 million line of credit three years ago.   This ruling signified an effort by the court to more fully educate patients and residents of the tri-county region about possible foreclosure proceedings on the north Georgia hospital.

"The court not only gave Erlanger a roadmap to enforce its rights under its loan documents, but also ordered the Hutcheson entities and counties to provide additional notice to the residents of Walker, Dade and Catoosa of possible foreclosure on the Fort Oglethorpe campus in the near future.

"Officials with the Erlanger Health System are pleased with the Court’s thoughtful decision regarding foreclosure proceedings on Hutcheson Medical Center.  By filing the foreclosure notice, Erlanger was fully complying with the language in the controlling documents – language added by Hutcheson and the counties – in its efforts to recover debts due to the Chattanooga health system."

“Despite Hutcheson’s failure to meet its obligations, Erlanger – without exception - met its obligations throughout this process,” said Erlanger Chief Administrative Officer Gregg Gentry following today’s hearing.  Mr Gentry said Erlanger’s $20 million loan was secured by the property on Hutcheson’s main campus and further guaranteed by Walker and Catoosa Counties, up to $10 million per county.

“We have stated repeatedly that Erlanger remains committed to meeting its longstanding and continued support of the health care needs of northwest Georgia and we feel the Court understands that,” Mr. Gentry stated.   

 


1 Person Killed In Wreck On I-75 In Whitfield County

One person died in a crash on I-75 in Whitfield County on Saturday. The wreck happened near exit 348 in the southbound lane. Traffic was backed up for miles after the accident. (click for more)

Over $30,000 Of High-End Men's Clothing Stolen From Hardwick & Co. In Cleveland

Cleveland Police said over $30,000 worth of high-end men's clothing was stolen from Hardwick & Co on Oak Street. The burglary happened sometime Friday night. Items stolen included name brands such as British Belt Company, Dubarry Azores Shoes, Jack of Spades Pants, John Peter London Pants and button down Shirts, Lucky Brand Jeans, and Tailor Byrd Button Down Shirts. ... (click for more)

Save Coolidge Park - And Response (2)

Last Monday morning while at work a good friend messaged me concerning a matter that I had not heard anything about dealing with Coolidge Park and its future. Apparently that night the City Council was to read an ordinance that would allow the mayor to start negotiations with the relocation of the Medal of Honor Museum. This ordinance would enable the city to lease approximately ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Looking For A Wife

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is a really cool place. I tried to buy a huge mounted buffalo head in an antique store there one time until I found out the shipping charges were four times what the head was worth. But suddenly my rapt attention is riveted on Coeur d'Alene again because a dazzling social experiment is taking place this very moment at a plush resort in north Idaho. Several ... (click for more)

Lookouts Drop First Game Of Second Half In 8-2 Loss To Jackson

The Jackson Generals scored five runs in the third inning on their way to an 8-2 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts. The loss was the Lookouts first of the second half.   Jackson got off to a good start by scoring a quick run in the first inning. Chattanooga annswered in the bottom of the frame with a Mitch Garver single.   The floodgates opened in the third inning ... (click for more)

Prep Football Jamboree is Aug 12-13 at Finley Stadium

Highlighted by a match-up of state semifinalists in Baylor and Notre Dame, the 57th annual Prep Football Jamboree is set for Aug. 12-13 at Finley Stadium with five games each night. Baylor (10-3) reached the D-II AA semis before losing to eventual state champ Brentwood Academy, while Notre Dame (10-4) reached the D-I 3A semis before losing to eventual state champion Alcoa. ... (click for more)