Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island is responding to a lawsuit claiming that it stymied Steward Health Care’s bid to acquire Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket.
Steward is the Massachusetts-based, for-profit health care chain that tried to acquire Landmark, which has been in receivership for several years. Steward filed suit in Superior Court this week claiming Blue Cross thwarted those plans purposefully to maintain what Steward calls an unlawful monopoly on commercial insurance and hospital services.
Blue Cross’ top lawyer Michele Lederberg said in a statement that the insurer would quote “vigorously defend this suit” and that they’re disappointed with Steward’s decision to file it.
According to the complaint, Steward wants an unspecified amount in damages to make up for what it claims are millions poured into the deal and the lost opportunity to partner with other entities like Thundermist Health Center.
Landmark, meanwhile, is still waiting on its new suitor, Prime Healthcare, to file a completed application to buy it.