Members of Ballad board, ETSU board of trustees named in federal lawsuit

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- News Channel 11 has learned members of both the East Tennessee State University Board of Trustees and members of the Ballad Health Board of Directors have been named in a federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed on April 12th in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Greeneville, claims board members violated antitrust laws.

The lawsuit names Ballad Health and the University Physicians Practice Group, along with Ballad CEO Alan Levin, Scott Niswonger, ETSU President Brian Noland, Eastman Senior Vice President David Golden and Bristol Motor Speedway executive Julie Bennett.

News Channel 11 has reached out to ETSU, and officials there said they had no comment per the university’s policy on pending litigation. 

Requests for comment from Bristol Motor Speedway haven’t been returned.

Eastman responded with the following statement on Friday afternoon:

“Eastman is aware of a lawsuit filed today that includes Mr. Golden for his membership on ETSU’s Board of Trustees and Ballad Health’s Board of Directors. Eastman supports opportunities to advance both higher education and the quality of and access to health care in the region. Mr. Golden’s representation on both boards aligns with that support. Mr. Golden is serving on Ballad Health’s Board of Directors at the request of the state attorney general. It is important to clarify that Mr. Golden does not serve on the Board of the Medical Education Assistance Corporation (MEAC) and so his public service does not overlap between the two entities. Eastman will not comment further on the pending litigation at this time.” 

Ballad Health officials also released the following statement regarding the lawsuit: 

“Ballad Health will respond to the lawsuit when it has been served and we have had a chance to review it.  The members of the Ballad Health Board of Directors were carefully selected in accordance with the law and with the consent of the regulatory agencies in Tennessee and Virginia.  All have acted with complete integrity and in the best interest of the communities we serve.” 

Stay with News Channel 11 as we continue to follow this developing story. 

You can read the entire lawsuit below: 

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