Jury awards MRI Associates $52M after split with St. Alphonsus

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MRI Associates has been awarded $52 million in damages from Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center for violating a partnership agreement and illegally competing for services, according to an Associated Press (AP) report.

The unanimous decision is the second largest jury verdict in Idaho history, according to KTVB News.

It is the second time the case between the two organizations went to trial and the second time a jury has ruled in favor of Boise, Idaho-based MRI Associates, which operates the MRI Center of Idaho and MRI Mobile. The first trial’s $63 million verdict, however, was later overturned by the Idaho Supreme Court, according to the AP.

MRI Associates began a partnership with Saint Alphonsus in 1985, which was to last until 2015. In 1998, a group of Saint Alphonsus radiologists started their own outpatient facility. Saint Alphonsus broke the partnership with MRI Associates in 2004 in order to work with the new facility, according to the AP.

The hospital sued MRI Associates for a portion of the ownership in MRI Associates and was then counter sued by MRI Associates. Attorneys for MRI Associates argued Saint Alphonsus violated the agreement by competing with its own partner.

The jury awarded MRI Associates $52 million, saying the business lost potential profits as a result of the break in the partnership agreement, according to KTVB.

A Saint Alphonsus spokeswoman said the hospital plans to appeal the decision.