Community Memorial Hospital is pushing state legislation to bolster its lawsuit against Ventura County Medical Center's expansion plans, officials said Wednesday.
Attorneys for Community Memorial have asked Assemblywoman Marilyn C. Brewer (R-Irvine) to introduce legislation that would prohibit the county from applying for state funds for the hospital project unless it can prove it will not hurt the private sector, officials said.
The county is proposing to add a $51-million wing to replace old and dilapidated buildings.
"It appears they're trying to get the law changed in hopes that it will help their lawsuit against the county," said Assistant County Counsel Noel Klebaum.
Community Memorial officials and their attorneys could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
The hospital filed its original lawsuit last July, accusing the county medical center of illegally competing for privately insured patients. Of particular concern is a policy that allows county employees to go to the county hospital for health-care services. The two facilities are about three blocks apart, on Loma Vista Road in Ventura.
"They obviously don't have faith in their own lawsuit," Klebaum said. "They want to change the law to make it say what they claim it says now."