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Physician's group suit against former Wellmont system starts in Sullivan Circuit court

(MGN)

A jury in Bristol is hearing a physician group’s claim that the former Wellmont Health System intentionally spent years trying to drive it out of business.

It’s a class action suit representing 1,500 member doctors. A three week trial is set in Sullivan County Circuit Judge E.G. Moody’s courtroom.

The suit says the doctors teamed with Bristol’s hospital in 1993 as a primary care network. It says both agreed not to compete against each other.

And that agreement continued when the hospital merged with Kingsport’s Holston Valley hospital to become Wellmont.

But doctors say later Wellmont became adversary and secretly negotiated for doctors out of the network.

Highlands Physicians say their actual losses amounted to $300,000, but they seek up to $75 million in damages.

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