Judge denies St. Als request for new trial against MRI company

Judge denies St. Als request for new trial against MRI company

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - A judge has denied a request by St. Alphonsus for a new trial in a $52 million lawsuit.

A jury ordered the Boise hospital to pay the money to MRI Associates back in November for violating a partnership agreement. The lawsuit has gone to trial twice.

Once it resulted in a $63 million settlement but that was overturned into the new settlement.

MRI Associates, which operates MRI Center of Idaho and MRI Mobile, partnered with St. Alphonsus in 1985 in an effort to make magnetic resonance imaging and other diagnostic tests more accessible to the hospital. The partnership was slated to last until at least 2015. But in 1998, a group of radiologists from Saint Alphonsus decided to build their own outpatient medical imaging facility, and in 2004 the hospital told MRI Associates it was leaving the partnership in favor of the competing company.

The hospital then sued MRI Associates for its portion of the ownership in MRI Associates. The MRI company countersued, contending the hospital breached the terms of the partnership agreement when it became a competitor.

The case first went to trial in 2007, when a jury awarded MRI Associates more than $63.5 million in damages. A judge later reduced the award to $36 million, and in 2009 the Idaho Supreme Court sent it back for a new trial.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.