A hospital executive could face jail time and thousands of dollars in fines for contempt of court after a San Bernardino County judge found the doctor may have violated a preliminary injunction.
In an ongoing medical administration dispute, San Bernardino-based hospital chain Prime Healthcare Services was ordered last year to inform Inland Pulmonary Medical Group, or IPMG, if doctors admitted any of the group’s patients to Prime’s Chino Valley Medical Center after an emergency room visit. Now, six months later, IPMG accuses Chino Valley executives of violating the injunction by admitting 300 patients or more without notification.
Earlier this month, Superior Court Judge Janet M. Frangie granted an order to show cause filed by IPMG requesting that the defendants be held in contempt. Frangie scheduled an arraignment for Dr. James Lally, CEO of the hospital, in August.
The ruling is a “significant” step in enforcing the preliminary injunction ordered in October, said IPMG’s lawyer Michael M. Amir, of Doll Amir & Eley LLP in Los Angeles.
“The judge found we made enough of a showing to arraign Lally, the president of the hospital,” he said. “It’s a very important ruling, though it’s certainly not the end of the road.”