San Diego Business Journal

A jury ruled that Oceanside’s Tri-City Medical Center should pay Carlsbad’s Medical Acquisition Company Inc. (MAC) $19.7 million in a dispute over a medical office building that’s sat vacant since 2013.

That’s $16.8 million in value associated with the structure and an additional $2.9 million for breach of contract allegations, according to Duane Horning, the San Diego attorney who represented MAC in court.

The office building has remained vacant due to an estranged partnership between the health care district and MAC, a vestige of former Tri-City CEO Larry Anderson’s tenure that has resulted in lawsuits and counter lawsuits between the parties.

The hospital entered into a complex lease-leaseback arrangement with MAC back in 2011 to develop the building on hospital property, but the deal began to unravel in 2012.

Tri-City eventually seized the office building through eminent domain.

The hospital claimed that conflicts of interest between the company, Anderson and one of its board members, RoseMarie Reno, invalidated its contract with MAC.

But MAC argued that there was no conflict of interest and Tri-City owed the highest fair market value for the structure.

MAC’s president Charly Perez said he was relieved and felt vindicated by the verdict. “It was a longtime in coming,” he said in a statement. “Now all we want is for the community to be served by the building as it was intended, and to be paid for the value we contributed.”

Tri-City Chief Marketing Officer David Bennett responded in an email: “The District is disappointed in the verdict and we are reviewing all options while at the same time protecting our right to appeal the verdict.”