Thursday, March 10, 2005

Court Says Hospital Has To Tell Why Delay

Clewiston, FL. (March 10 , 2005) -- The 20th Circuit Court today served
legal notice that Hendry Regional Medical Center and Physical Therapy
Dynamics, Inc., show cause and explain to the court why they refused to
comply with public records requests for information on the hospital's
"Apparently the court agrees with our premise that these records should be
available for public review," said Robert Coker, Senior Vice President,
Public Affairs. "If there is a reason that the hospital is reluctant to
disclose this information, particularly regarding their dealings with the
therapy units and the sale of property from the drug store, they now will
have to come clean."

U.S. Sugar's lawsuit was filed after the administration of the public
hospital repeatedly refused to provide the requested information on its
operations, including documents related to its arrangements with the
privately-owned physical therapy services.
"It is a shame that we had to file a lawsuit to get financial information
from our community hospital. If everything is in good order, the
administration should be willing and able to comply with the law and make
these public records public," Coker said.

Coker is part of a blue-ribbon panel of local business leaders that has
been analyzing the operations of the hospital after its perilous financial
standing was brought to light with a 25% raise in ad valorem taxes in order
to fund the increasing deficits of the community hospital.

Terms of the summons require the Hendry County Hospital Authority and
Physical Therapy Dynamics, Inc. to respond by April 15, 2005.

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