Some claims in lawsuit against Bauer dismissed

Community Health Systems, the corporate owners of LHN, is now suing Bauer for breach of contract, defamation and tortuous interference with business relationships.

Posted: Feb 16, 2018 10:56 PM
Updated: Feb 19, 2018 9:33 AM

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WFFT) - Three of the claims filed against former Lutheran health network CEO Brian Bauer were dismissed this week.

Community Health Systems, the corporate owners of LHN, is now suing Bauer for breach of contract, defamation and tortuous interference with business relationships.

CHS called the ruling a victory in their fight against Bauer because they claim their three core claims against him are moving forward.

But, an attorney in Fort Wayne familiar with the case says it was a bigger victory for Bauer.

"Even the ones that are left may still be subject to dismissal," Mark GiaQuinta said.

GiaQuinta is familiar with the lawsuit against Bauer because he was representing doctors who were being questioned in the case, but a judge threw that part out.

"As a lawyer looking at the record, those claims that they brought weren't even worthy of being heard in Tennessee," he said.

CHS spokesperson Tomi Galin told WFFT in an email this week's ruling was important because there can "be a full airing of facts and evidence that Bauer and others engaged in a scheme to harm Lutheran Health Network.

CHS filed the lawsuit against Bauer in December after he started to work with IU Health to bring that network to Fort Wayne.

Bauer was fired from LHN in June 2017 after a group of doctors tried to buy the network.

GiaQuinta said he's never seen anything like this.

"It almost strikes me as a school yard spat," GiaQuinta told WFFT.

In January, CHS filed a motion asking a judge to ban Bauer from working with IU Health, around the same time IU Health put up a sign in a field across the street from Lutheran Hospital.

During this week's hearing, the judge noted Bauer isn't banned from working with IU Health or any other health network under his non-compete agreement.

GiaQuinta said he hopes CHS and Bauer could get back to what they should be focused on.

"Everyone would be better off doing what they claim there mission is, and that is serving the sick and those in need of hospital services," he said.

The case will be back before a judge Friday, February 23.

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