Massillon is Going to Court to Try to Keep Its Hospital Open at Least Temporarily

Jan 17, 2018

Affinity prepares to sign off in Massillon, but the city is fighting for at least a delay.
Credit AFFINITY

Massillon asked a Stark County judge today to delay the closing of Affinity Medical Center for four months.  

Attorney David Dingwell, a partner in the firm of Tzangas Plakas & Mannos, says the city is looking for short-term and long-term options.
Credit TZANGAS PLAKAS & MANNOS

Ideas for legal options to keep Affinity open have been circulating since the hospital’s owner, Quorum Health, announced plans Jan. 5th to close it.

It plans to cease clinical operations Feb. 4 and close Affinity entirely a month later.

Attorney David Dingwell, the outside counsel representing the city, says there are two issues to look at: finding a long-term way of keeping the hospital going  and dealing with the immediate prospect of its closing.

He says the injunction is to address “the primary concern right now  ... making sure there is a way to carefully and cautiously transition patient care.” 

As for long-term, a city take-over of Affinity using eminent domain has been suggested. But Dingwell says that may not be applicable. The eminent domain procedure is typically used when a land owner is unwilling to sell or may disagree as to the purchase price.

Stark County Common Pleas Judge Chryssa Hartnett scheduled a hearing on the injunction next Tuesday at 9 a.m.