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Court Blocks Release of Hospital Merger Documents

St. Mary's Medical Center

The West Virginia Supreme Court has blocked the release of documents related to the proposed merger of two hospitals.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the Supreme Court voted 3-1 on Wednesday to put a hold on Kanawha County Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman's order to release the documents.

The case began when steel manufacturer Steel of West Virginia sued Attorney General Patrick Morrisey after he refused to release records about the merger of Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary's Medical Center. The manufacturer says the merger will increase health care costs and lower the quality of patient care.

Morrisey says he hasn't released the documents because he secured them while leading an antitrust investigation. His lawyers say other documents were "internal memoranda" and not subject to release.

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