Temporary settlement reached in Cooper Green lawsuit

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - After less than two hours of mediation Thursday, a temporary settlement was reached in a class action lawsuit filed against the Jefferson County Commission.  The suit was filed by Maralyn Mosley, a patient of Cooper Green Mercy Hospital.  She says she filed the suit on behalf of herself and other patients of the hospital.   "It is important that there is a place for those with no healthcare coverage, "Mosely said.  "For the working poor who have no place to go."

In the lawsuit, Mosley asked that the commission not be allowed to close the hospital and that they not be allowed to touch the funds that go to support it. Commissioners addressed the issue Tuesday, even before it reached court.  The commission agreed to move millions of dollars from the county's general revenue fund to the indigent care fund.  That covered Mosely's request.   But as part of the settlement, commissioners agreed to  keep the money in that account and report to the courts first, if they plan to take any further action with it.

Mosely was also concerned that the hospital would be closed.  In the lawsuit, attorneys claimed that Commissioner William Bell "directed administrators of Cooper Green Hospital to prepare for immeadiate closure of the hospital."  Bell claims he never said any such thing...and said Thursday's settlement supports his claim.  "Clearly William Bell has never said he would close Cooper Green and for the judge to make that ruling I'm delighted."