The Tri-City Healthcare District can take its unfair business practice claims against Scripps Health to trial, an appellate court ruled last week.
The Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld a trial court's ruling that Tri-City's claims of anti-competitive conduct and unfair business practices are not subject to arbitration.
Tri-City brought its case against Scripps in San Diego Superior Court due to Scripps’ alleged unfair business practice of directing Tri-City Healthcare District patients to Scripps’ facilities outside the district.
In 2009, Scripps acquired Sharp Mission Park, a group of 65 primary care doctors who previously referred patients to Tri-City Medical Center through written agreements.
Since Scripps’ acquisition of Sharp Mission Park, Scripps has steered patients living in the Tri-City district to Scripps facilities in Encinitas, and as far away as Chula Vista, adversely affecting patients and their care, according to Tri-City officials.
Scripps sought to have Tri-City’s claims heard in arbitration, rather than in court, based on expired contracts previously entered into by the two entities. The Superior Court, in denying Scripps’ motion to compel arbitration, reasoned that Tri-City’s claims arose from claims that were outside the contracts between Tri-City and Scripps and, thus, were not subject to those contracts’ arbitration clauses.
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