City of Lakewood faces lawsuit for hospital management

Attorney Christopher M. DeVito has called on the City of Lakewood to defend its contractual rights, under its lease agreement with Cleveland Clinic, rather than cooperating with the Clinic to liquidate Lakewood Hospital.

Supported by Senator Michael Skindell and other Save Lakewood Hospital members, DeVito addressed local news media at a press conference outside the hospital Tuesday morning. DeVito explained that he has written Lakewood Law Director Kevin Butler, calling on him to file a lawsuit on or before May 1 to “preserve and ensure the continued operation of Lakewood Hospital for the benefit of the Lakewood community.”

In the event the City fails to file a lawsuit by the May 1 deadline, DeVito intends to file a lawsuit on behalf of the residents and taxpayers of the City of Lakewood.

The letter to Butler and potential legal actions, DeVito explained, demand city leaders be “accountable for their actions and omissions in managing Lakewood Hospital and failure in being good stewards of these valuable assets in our community.”

“The City should be acting only to protect these assets and manage them in the best interests of the health and welfare of the citizens of the City of Lakewood,” DeVito said. “The City needs to ignore the strategic plan of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and begin to focus on the economic and healthcare interests of its residents.”

DeVito’s press release is available here; has coverage of the announcement here. Check back soon for additional updates.