San Diego

A San Diego Superior Court judge ruled Friday that an outside judge be brought in to hear the Tri-City Hospital District's lawsuit against the county Board of Supervisors for not designating Tri-City Hospital in Escondido as a county trauma care center. However, Judge Mack P. Lovett denied the hospital district's request to move the case to Orange County. The hospital district filed the suit Dec. 12 after the supervisors chose Oceanside's Palomar Hospital. Palomar, along with the other six hospitals in the network, is to be evaluated by county health officials next week. The county Department of Health Services is scheduled to make its recommendations concerning the future of the county trauma system at the supervisors' April 9 meeting. The Tri-City suit charges the county with monopolizing trauma care services, refusing to hear Tri-City's appeal and failure to disclose documents pertinent to the trauma center selection process.

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