Dismissal of Columbia / HCA Suit Advised
Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. said a federal magistrate recommended dismissal of a shareholders’ lawsuit because there wasn’t enough evidence to support allegations of fraud against the largest U.S. hospital chain and its directors. Federal Magistrate William Haynes also recommended to U.S. District Judge Thomas Higgins that a separate lawsuit against some company board members, including former Chairman Richard Scott and former President David Vandewater, be dismissed. The judge isn’t required to follow the recommendation. The shareholder suits stemmed from disclosure in March 1997 of a government probe in which federal investigators contend the Nashville-based company engaged in a nationwide scheme of fraud that included collecting inflated fees for home health services.