Marshfield Clinic responds to HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital lawsuit - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Marshfield Clinic responds to HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital lawsuit


Eau Claire (WQOW) - A lawsuit filed by HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital against Marshfield Clinic Health System in March has now prompted Marshfield to respond.

Marshfield Clinic Health System has filed its Answer and Motion for Summary Judgment to Sacred Heart Hospital’s lawsuit. Marshfield Clinic is in the process of building a hospital and cancer center off of Clairemont Ave.

RELATED LINK: Demolition begins on parts of the Plaza Hotel, iconic tower still standing

Marshfield claims the lawsuit is "a bad faith attempt" by Sacred Heart to misconstrue real-estate agreements to stop construction of Marshfield's new hospital.

According to court documents, Sacred Heart said it is entitled to a right of first refusal on land where Marshfield's current clinic sits. That's from a 1998 agreement.

In Monday's filing, Marshfield Clinic claimed there is no plan to build on that land. The new hospital is being built on a separate piece on Clairemont Ave. They admit they might use part of the contested land for parking on a parcel called, "McGuire Parcel".

Marshfield Clinic claimed Sacred Heart never owned that contested piece of land, so Marshfield is free to use it as they wish. 

Scott Polenz, who is the chief administrative officer with Marshfield Clinic Health System, released the following statement to News 18:

“Marshfield Clinic believes Sacred Heart Hospital’s claims are without merit and we have filed a motion for summary judgment seeking a dismissal of all claims. We are confident in our position, and progress continues on building and bringing more affordable healthcare to the Chippewa Valley.”

News 18 also reached out to Sacred Heart Hospital for comment on the matter, but they declined our request.

Posted on March 22, 2017:

Eau Claire (WQOW) - It is a battle that's been brewing for months: Marshfield Clinic's plan to build a hospital and cancer center on the site of the old Plaza Hotel on Clairemont Ave. Now, HSHS Sacred Heart is suing, saying they can't do that.

Documents show an agreement between HSHS Sacred Heart and Marshfield Clinic that started decades ago. Court documents show that in 1998 and 2006, Sacred Heart agreed to sell some land to Marshfield Clinic, so Marshfield could build medical facilities.

According to documents, the clinic cannot construct or provide for a hospital on the two properties near Sacred Heart. Marshfield Clinic is in the process of building a hospital and cancer center near land adjacent to the properties discussed in the lawsuit.

In 2016, Marshfield Clinic granted an easement to their partner, Marshfield Clinic Health System Hospital, which is legally a different entity. Sacred Heart's agreement was with Marshfield Clinic, not the group that is building the hospital. According to court documents, Sacred Heart had a right of refusal on the property. They claim that did not happen.

Another part of Sacred Heart's claim is that hospital parking would be located on one of the properties it sold, which they claim violates the agreement. 

Sacred Heart said that if the new hospital is built, it would cause them irreparable harm, so they are asking the judge to halt construction on the property.

Sacred Heart told News 18 Wednesday they have no comment on the matter at this time. Meanwhile, Marshfield Clinic said they are disappointed but remain focused on moving their projects forward. 

Marshfield Clinic said the project would put the area one step closer to more affordable healthcare, but in the lawsuit, Sacred Heart claims there is no proof to back up that claim.   

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