HOUSTON (March 11, 2010)

No evidence of antitrust in suit brought by the physician owners of the former Houston Town & Country HospitalA Harris County jury today rejected the claims of a group of six physician investors who had asserted that Memorial Hermann caused the failure of their start-up venture, Houston Town & Country Hospital. The hospital closed in early 2007 after 13 months in business.

The physician-investors' lawsuit centered on the claim that Memorial Hermann prevented their hospital from securing managed care contracts and in the process violated antitrust laws. Memorial Hermann countered that Houston is a highly competitive healthcare market and that its negotiations with managed care companies focused on securing the best possible rates for its hospitals and patients.

"The jury clearly saw this case for what it is - another example of how difficult it can be to operate in Houston's challenging healthcare environment," said David Beck, Memorial Hermann's lead attorney and founding partner in the law firm of Beck, Redden & Secrest, L.L.P. "The plaintiffs entered into a financially risky business venture, and it failed."

Memorial Hermann President & CEO Dan Wolterman said: "On behalf of Memorial Hermann, we appreciate the court's and jury's attention to the complex nature of this case. The business of healthcare is complicated even for many of those who work in healthcare today, so we are grateful this jury took care to understand the facts."