BOISE, Idaho (Legal Newsline)-The Idaho Supreme Court has vacated the largest jury verdict in state history, sending back to trial the case between MRI Associates and Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center.

A jury had awarded MRI $63 million, finding that Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center violated a provision in their partnership agreement. Later a judge had lowered the judgment amount to $36 million.

The partnership began in 1985, and for years doctors with privileges at the hospital used the MRI center for scans and radiologists from Saint Alphonsus read them.

Then in 1998, radiologists decided to build their own imaging center. They named it Intermountain Medical Imaging. They asked Saint Alphonsus to become involved with the project. The groups were in negotiations but talks fell through in 2004.

The hospital told MRI Associates that it was leaving the partnership.

The hospital sued MRI for its portion of ownership and MRI countersued, saying that the hospital had breached the terms of the partnership agreement.

There were fiduciary and contractual claims made in the lawsuit.

District Judge Michael McLaughlin ruled before trial that that Saint Alphonsus had violated an express provision of the partnership agreement.

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