Judge backs doctors' request for injunction against Chino hospital

A judge has granted a preliminary injunction against Chino Valley Medical Center on two of the six causes of action alleged in a lawsuit filed by a group of doctors over patient care.

Inland Pulmonary Medical Group doctors filed a lawsuit earlier this year against the hospital and its owners, Prime Healthcare, alleging the hospital routinely ignored patients’ wishes to contact IPMG physicians who are familiar with their medical histories.

Officials of Prime Healthcare, which owns the Chino hospital, argued the lawsuit had no merit.

In a 10-page ruling released Wednesday, West Valley Superior Court Judge Janet M. Frangie ruled that IPMG had a “reasonable probability of prevailing” on two of the six causes of action, specifically IPMG’s allegations of the hospital’s intentional interference with contractual relations and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.

In the ruling, Frangie ordered Chino Valley Medical Center to contact IPMG before admitting private patients who notify the hospital that an IPMG physician is their physician. The hospital also must permit IPMG access to its patients any time that IPMG informs the hospital that one of its patients is there, the judge ordered.

“IPMG is extremely pleased with the judge’s ruling. Not only is it a victory for the doctors but also for the patients in the community who the hospital had deprived of having doctors of their choice treat them at the hospital,” said Michael Amir, who represented IPMG. “The ruling here orders the hospital to stop its improper practice of interfering with the doctor patient relationship. The doctors can now get back to treating their patients.”