Federal Judge Stops Erlanger Foreclosure Of Hutcheson Hospital

Friday, August 01, 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.   

 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALTMAN, KENNETH MARCUS     605 AUTUMN HARVEST LANE KODAK, 37764     43     Hamilton County          CONTEMPT OF COURT (NON SUPPORT) BALL, CHRISTINA JEAN     12475 DAYTON PIKE SALE CREEK, 37373     29 ... (click for more)

Sweeney On Trial In Federal Court For Alleged Sexually Explicit Facebook Messages With 13-Year-Old Girl

During the trial of a man accused of having sexually explicit Facebook conversations with a 13-year-old girl, it was revealed he told police, "I don't know any 13-year-old girl," but "a 17-year-old girl I might talk to." The trial is taking place in the courtroom of Federal Judge Sandy Mattice. Randy Sweeney, 49, was arrested after the young girl's mother called police. ... (click for more)

Dirt Decision At Camp Jordan May Come Back To Haunt East Ridge Councilmen

Wow. I thought the arrival of Bass Pro Shop would help bring East Ridge back to a position of prominence in the Chattanooga area, but the Council proved otherwise last night.  To the council - There is a reason that the developers want that dirt: It's valuable . You currently own it and the developer wants it. Bass Pro has already agreed to set up shop. They were going ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I’m Certainly No Expert

Sometime on Monday night, after I had written a piece on getting swatted with a switch as a kid, I got an email from ESPN Canada asking if I would be a televised guest on “Off the Record,” the most watched daily sports show in Canada. The subject: corporal punishment in America. Are you kidding me? I am hardly an expert. All weekend my world of sports and its excitement was warped ... (click for more)

Hixson Claims Top Spot In 6-AA With Win At Central

Hixson and Central entered their volleyball match on Tuesday tied for first place in District 6-AA as both were unbeaten in three matches. The Lady Wildcats have that top spot all to themselves after pinning a 3-1 defeat on the Lady Pounders in a match held at Brown Middle School's Carole Wilson Gymnasium. Hixson won the first set with ease by a score of 25-12 before winning ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Whips Silverdale, 3-0, In 5-A Volleyball

The effects of losing six straight matches – a league loss to Grace Baptist and five in the Tennessee Tandem tournament – were still bothering Silverdale Baptist Academy in a District 5-A volleyball match at Boyd-Buchanan. But not nearly as much as the Lady Bucs’ sterling play. Boyd-Buchanan (23-13, 5-1 District 5-A), which also lost to Grace last Thursday, gained momentum ... (click for more)