The showdown between California-based Pipeline Health and community members who stand to be affected by the company’s planned closure of Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park took another turn on Thursday.
Just hours after an appellate court reversed the village of Melrose Park’s temporary restraining order against Pipeline, the Illinois Supreme Court weighed in, issuing a stay of the lower court’s ruling, meaning that the temporary restraining order will remain in place for now.
On Thursday morning, the Cook County Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 in favor of reversing the temporary restraining order filed against Pipeline Health by the village of Melrose Park in order to keep Pipeline from closing Westlake before the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board makes a decision on the proposed closure on April 30.
On April 16, Pipeline was found in contempt for violating the temporary restraining order that was issued on April 9. As part of that contempt of court ruling, Pipeline had until 9 a.m. Thursday to reopen every Westlake department except for the bariatric unit. Pipeline was facing a $200,000 a day fine if they failed to restore those services.
The appellate court, however, ruled that the village did not have standing to file the temporary restraining order. In a statement released Thursday, a Pipeline spokesman said that the appellate court’s ruling could “serve a potential fatal blow” to a lawsuit that the village of Melrose Park filed against Pipeline in March.
The lawsuit alleges that Pipeline committed fraud and conspiracy in the process of purchasing Westlake last year.
More as this story develops.