Lisa Zenzen Baker, 1961-2003


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Motion pending

Judge’s decision awaited in
hospital’s web page claim

By David Baker
Posted Tuesday March 19, 2013
256 words

The lawsuit in which Samaritan Hospital is seeking to stop the use of the Internet domain name ‘northeasthealthclaims on a page that lists unreported medical-malpractice lawsuits filed against Capital District providers is on hold pending a decision by the judge on a request for an order compelling the hospital to provide information on its advertising and public-relations spending.

The motion was filed in September after Samaritan Hospital refused to hand over copies of documents showing how much it has spent promoting its public image.

In its lawsuit, the hospital claims its reputation has been damaged by the use of the domain name, and by a logo that until February 2012 appeared on the site.

After the motion was filed, Samaritan’s lawyers said in a cross motion opposing the motion to compel that “ a matter of practicality and to permit this case to be ready for trial..” they were dropping most of their claims.  But they still want an injunction as well as their legal fees.

A decision by Acting Supreme Court Justice Andrew G. Ceresia is pending.

Both remaining claims will be opposed.  In addition, the fact that Samaritan has now dropped most of its demands leaves it exposed to a claim that its lawsuit was a malicious prosecution, an attempt to stifle free speech and suppress the publication of publicly available information, information which the area’s newspapers, while benefiting from a continuous stream of advertising revenue from Northeast Health and other providers, have ignored for the past 12 years.