Canton, Ohio: The seven justices of the Ohio Supreme Court granted Mercy Medical Center’s motion to dismiss Aultman Hospital’s appeal of a 2010 ruling that found Aultman engaged in a pattern of corrupt activities. The Ohio Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss the appeal was unanimous.
The Supreme Court’s ruling means that the jury’s 2010 finding and the Court of Appeals’ decision in favor of Mercy are affirmed. All three courts unanimously ruled that Aultman’s secret payments of millions of charitable foundation dollars to a select group of health insurance brokers constituted corrupt activities and were a violation of Ohio’s RICO statute. The jury had determined that Aultman’s secret payments to the brokers influenced more than 1,700 companies to switch their health insurance to Aultcare.
“After much review and consideration, Mercy Medical Center determined that it was our responsibility to bring this lawsuit,” said Thomas E. Cecconi, president and CEO, Mercy Medical Center. “Our decision was not made lightly; from the beginnings of these legal proceedings, our intent to establish fair, ethical and lawful business conduct and transparency never waivered and is now accomplished.”
As a result, Mercy will receive more than $6.1 million in damages, as well as $4 million in legal fees from Aultman. This settlement will remain in this community and be reinvested in the exceptional patient care and outreach services that have always been a Mercy hallmark.
Founded by the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine in Canton in 1908, Mercy Medical Center has remained true to its mission of providing quality, compassionate, accessible and affordable Catholic health care to the residents of Stark and its surrounding counties.
“As we move forward, Mercy will continue to bring to this area the most advanced technology and health care initiatives, including our nationally recognized heart care and award-winning cancer care,” said Cecconi. “Our emergency department renovation and expansion project, which began the first of this year, is a $14.6 million investment by Mercy to better emergency care for our community,” he added.
Mercy Medical Center, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System, operates a 476-bed hospital serving Stark, Carroll, Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties and parts of Southeastern Ohio. It has 620 members on its Medical Staff and employs 2,500 people. Mercy operates outpatient health centers in Carroll County, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Louisville, North Canton, Plain Township and Tuscarawas County. A Catholic hospital, Mercy Medical Center upholds the mission and philosophy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and continues to be responsive to the needs of the community. For more information, see cantonmercy.org.
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