"St. Al's, while it was in a partnership, competed against that partnership. That is against the law. The jury saw that," Woodard says. "St. Al's should have told the radiologists 'whatever you guys do, we are sticking by our partners.'"
In 2007, during the first trial, a jury awarded MRI Associates $63.5 million – the largest jury award in Idaho history. However, that award was reduced by a judge to $36 million, and the verdict was reversed by the state supreme court and sent back to the lower court for retrial.
Last week's $52 million award represents the second-largest jury award in Idaho history.
Woodard says he anticipates that Saint Alphonsus – which is affiliated with Trinity Health – will appeal the latest verdict as well. "We are hopeful that it will stand up. The judge ran a clean trial and there is no reason why it shouldn't stand up on appeal," he says.
Elizabeth C. Duncan, director of public relations for Saint Alphonsus, said in an email response to HealthLeaders Media that the health system is considering its options.