GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – In court documents filed Friday, the attorney for plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Ballad Health compared the health system to an octopus that “rains havoc” and “perpetrates gloom and doom.”
The federal lawsuit against Ballad’s Board of Directors and ETSU Physicians Practice Group claims there is a conflict of interest and possible violation of anti-trust law because certain members of the Ballad board also sit on the ETSU Board of Trustees.
Earlier this month, lawyers for Ballad Health filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Friday, the plaintiffs’ attorney filed documents in opposition to the motion.
“Thus, like the octopus of the ocean deep, defendant, Ballad Health, slinks out from the crevice in which it hides and perpetrates gloom and doom upon its market area,” one document reads. “Being the intelligent creature it is, The Ballad Octopus rains havoc over the inhabitants of its market area who, it assumes, are dumb, uneducated, hillbillies.”
“The Ballad Octopus, however, is being confronted in a challenge by ten, brave, honorable, people, with no financial interest in the outcome of this litigation,” the document also states. “Having been so confronted, Ballad Health now attempts to slink back into its hidey hole by firing its putrid pool of purple ink into the faces of these plaintiffs, who dare challenge its hegemony over the health care of the persons in this market area, to wit: its Motion to Dismiss. The following brief, in opposition to the well-written Memorandum authored by defendants’ worthy counsel, will show that, this time, The Octopus cannot escape into its underground lair.”
You can view the document below:
Friday, Ballad Health President and CEO Alan Levine tweeted about octopuses and included a link to a PETA web page that refers to the creatures as “animals that should never be abused and eaten.”
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs are asking the court to step in and separate and restructure one or both boards of directors.