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Suit Over Hospital Is Settled

Times Staff Writer

The state attorney general’s office and Tenet Healthcare Corp. on Tuesday agreed to settle a lawsuit that blocked Tenet from closing the Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital in Marina del Rey.

The settlement, which still must be approved by Los Angeles County Superior Court, clears the way for Tenet to decide whether to proceed with closure or keep the hospital open.

The settlement also calls for Tenet to give $400,000 to the California Community Foundation and to reimburse the state for $100,000 in court costs.

Tenet bought both the Freeman Marina Hospital and the larger Freeman Memorial Hospital from Carondolet Health System in St. Louis in December 2001.

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In May, the company announced it would close the Marina hospital, noting it had long been underused. The announcement sparked an uproar from community groups, local health officials and others who charged that Tenet had not sought extensive public input, as required by the conditions of its purchase of the hospitals.

The settlement acknowledges that Tenet has complied with those stipulations.

“Now the hospital’s future will be decided as it should be -- after careful consultation between Tenet and public health officials, medical staffs, community health-care providers and the hospital’s governing board,” Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer said in a written statement.

The hospital governing board is expected to make its recommendation regarding Daniel Freeman Marina’s future within two weeks. Tenet’s Daniel Freeman Hospital subsidiary will make a final decision after it receives the Marina board’s recommendation.

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“Throughout this process, we have listened carefully to the many voices in the community that are concerned about the future of Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital,” said Trevor Fetter, Tenet’s president. “They have communicated to us their strong support for this hospital and the access to health care that it represents.”


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