Local News

Health Care Provider Files Suit Against N.C. Counties

Posted January 23, 2008 4:37 p.m. EST
Updated January 23, 2008 6:02 p.m. EST

A private mental-health company on Wednesday filed a billion-dollar lawsuit against several North Carolina counties, including Durham and Wake, contending they are trying to run it out of business.

Raleigh-based Dominion Health Care Services, a contracted heath-care provider that services a number of counties, contends the mental-health facilities in the counties named in the suit are trying to run it out of business.

In the last year, the company has been investigated for various problems, including questionable Medicaid billing. But a judge ruled Dominion was not given time to correct the problems.

"This is serious business," said Dominon's attorney, Willie Gary. "These defendants are more concerned about cutting costs than delivering a service."

If Dominion closes, approximately 1,000 employees could lose their jobs.

The counties named in the suit can opt to have the North Carolina Attorney General's Office defend them. A spokeswoman for the attorney general said the office is reviewing the suit to see what, if any role, it will take in the case.

Gary and Dominion workers said Wednesday they will fight vigorously, believing the community's well-being depends on it.

Attorneys for Durham and Wake counties would not comment because they have not seen the lawsuit.