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HCA Prevails In Fight Over Portsmouth Hospital

The state’s highest court has settled the dispute over the ownership of Portsmouth regional hospital, thwarting an effort by the foundation for seacoast health to wrest control of the hospital from the Hospital Corporation of America.

At issue was whether the 1999 restructuring of Portsmouth regional hospital gave the foundation for seacoast health the right to purchase the hospital from its parent company , the Hospital corporation of America.

"The foundation had sold Portsmouth regional to HCA in 1983, but believed the hospital management no longer had the interests of the community at heart. Portsmouth Attorney Dan Hoeffle represented the foundation."

The foundation took this action as part of the foundation’s obligation to uphold the community’s rights and protect the community with respect to the ownership and operation of Portsmouth regional hospital.

The Supreme court disagreed; Ruling unanimously that the hospital’s restructuring was not a sale to a third party. The court also turned back foundations efforts to collect damages and attorneys’ fees.

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