Albany -- A group of Albany doctors say they'll have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to defend themselves against a lawsuit filed by Phoebe Putney Hospital.
Doctors at Albany Surgical were shocked when served with a massive filing today by Sheriff's Deputies. Their's is the only practice named in a suit Phoebe and The Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals filed against the state Department of Community Health.
The Hospitals want to block the state's decision to allow surgeons to set up their own surgery centers. The lawsuit claims Albany Surgical harmed the hospitals by pushing the Department to change Certificate of Needs rules after losing a judgement in 2002.
"They just don't want any competition," says Albany Surgical President Dr. Chris Smith. "We feel like we can do a good job without hurting them. We are not going to hurt Phoebe Putney Hospital with our small center. We never were. I've been shocked at the effort they have been willing to go to."
The lawsuit claims the Department of Community Health does not have the legal authority to change CON rules. The lawsuit also asks that Albany Surgical pay for the hospital's legal fees.