Oncology equipment provider claims no responsibility for damages to equipment

By Kelly Holleran | Sep 16, 2013

The provider of medical equipment alleges a hospital has failed to make payments toward the equipment.

The provider of medical equipment alleges a hospital has failed to make payments toward the equipment.

In addition, it claims it should not be held responsible for paying more than $75,000 toward repair costs incurred on the equipment.

CI Oncology Partners filed a lawsuit Sept. 6 in Jefferson County District Court against Iasis Healthcare, Medical Center of Southeast Texas and Matt Roberts.

In its complaint, CI Oncology claims it leased equipment to the Medical Center of Southeast Texas beginning on Jan. 1, 2010. As part of the lease agreement, the hospital would pay $15,000 per month for five years, according to the complaint.

However, the hospital failed to pay CI Oncology Partners until February 2011 – one month after the equipment became operational, the suit states.

On July 19, 2013, CI Oncology received a letter from IASIS Health Care demanding $77,189.11 in repair costs on the oncology equipment, the complaint says. CI Oncology contends it should not have to pay the repair costs because it did not cause the damage to the equipment.

“Plaintiff paid $59,526.93 in routine maintenance and repairs over the life of the lease,” the suit states. “Plaintiff has no idea what the alleged amounts due pertain to. Plaintiff does know and has informed defendants that the hospital’s personnel damaged the cancer radiation machine.”

For instance, CI Oncology states that hospital personnel administered excessive voltage to the machine, causing total failure of the equipment. On another occasion, a hospital employee allegedly pushed the emergency shut-off button by mistake resulting in another complete failure of the machine. Finally, on Feb. 13, another employee allegedly moved the server from the Cancer Center resulting in another failure of the equipment, according to the complaint.

CI Oncology alleges breach of contract against the Medical Center of Southeast Texas, saying it failed to pay the amount agreed upon in the lease and terminated the contract before its end date.

It is seeking injunctive relief that would prohibit the termination of the lease agreement with Medical Center of Southeast Texas. It also seeks actual and punitive damages in excess of the jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus costs, attorney’s fees and other relief the court deems just.

Gary M. Riebschlager of Brent Coon and Associates in Houston will be representing it.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E194-715

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