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Health First Lawsuit Could Go To Jury By This Summer

Health First logo.
Health First logo.

A massive anti-trust lawsuit against a Brevard County hospital system could go to trial as soon as this summer.

Plaintiffs want to split up what they say is a ‘vertical monopoly’ on health care.

Health First officials weren’t available to talk about the lawsuit for this story.

But the hospital will likely lay out its full defense in court filings in the next 30 days.

Then both sides produces evidence. And in July, a possible jury trial.

Plaintiff’s attorney Joe Whatley said what makes this case unique is that the hospital not only owns the facilities and the doctor practices, it owns the dominant insurance company too.

“It would be a vast understatement to say they have a finger in every pie," Whatley said. "They have a whole big part of every pie.”

The plaintiffs are seeking more than $100 million in damages, and also want the courts to undo the hospital’s purchase of MIMA, the area’s largest doctor group.

Check here to download the lawsuits.

Abe Aboraya is a reporter with WMFE in Tampa. WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public  Broadcasting. Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by Florida Hospital and the Winter Park Health Foundation.