West Texas Medical Sued For 'Conspiracy' During Sale of Its Building

 

SAN ANGELO, TX — The officers and owners of the building that housed West Texas Medical Associates, the now defunct physicians’ group that operated for more than 40 years here, were involved in a conspiracy to defraud a Florida real estate investment group for more than $13 million, court documents allege.

In a lawsuit filed April 30, San Angelo Properties, LLC, with an address in Florida, claimed that WTMA and those associated with it tricked them into purchasing the WTMA building at 3605 Executive Dr., behind the former San Angelo Community Medical Center now known as Shannon South. As part of the negotiations prior to the purchase, WTMA officers assured the Florida company that the physicians’ group was solvent and would continue to lease the building. Then, right after the Florida company closed on the purchase of the WTMA building, WTMA notified the Florida company on April 8 that it was shuttering its doors and defaulting on the lease.

Not stated in the lawsuit was that news of the pending purchase of SACMC’s assets by Shannon Health was in the news during the timeline of the negotiations to purchase the WTMA building. The doctors at WTMA were associated with SACMC hospital, with many of them with hospital privileges at the former facility. Once the Shannon buyout of its competitor was completed at the end of October last year most of the WTMA doctors eventually either retired or went to work for Shannon.

The now empty parking lot at the once bustling West Texas Medical Associates building on the southwest side of San Angelo, Texas.

The now empty parking lot at the once bustling West Texas Medical Associates building on the southwest side of San Angelo, Texas. 

The new landlords, “to say the least, were shocked to learn that WTMA was insolvent, mere months after having been provided multiple assurances from Defendants regarding WTMA’s financial status and stability as a tenant of the Property,” the Florida company’s attorney stated in the lawsuit. The Florida company also named former WTMA doctors Don Cook, MD; Joe Wilkinson, MD; and Robert Alexander, MD. Those doctors now practice medicine for Shannon Clinic at a Shannon facility connected to the southwest side of the former SACMC building.

“Even more shocking to the Plaintiff was that, despite Defendant Don Cook, Defendant Alexander, and Defendant Wilkinson actively practicing as physicians with WTMA, and thus having specific knowledge of or access to information concerning the financial status of WTMA, its pending insolvency, and its plans to close and abandon the practice (and the WTMA Lease), none of these facts were disclosed to Plaintiff by either Meridian [the defendants’ leasing company] (by and through Defendant Cook) or by WTMA until three weeks before WTMA intended to abandon the premises.”

The name of the former West Texas Medical Associates is still on the building that is the subject of a $13.1 million 'conspiracy' lawsuit.

The name of the former West Texas Medical Associates is still on the building that is the subject of a $13.1 million 'conspiracy' lawsuit.

The Florida real estate company alleged the Defendants collectively knew, or had access to, plans to close WTMA and abandon the lease before consummating the sale agreement for the WTMA building.

The lawsuit has five claims against the operators of the WTMA building who sold it to the Florida investment company. They claim the WTMA party breached the contract that was the purchase sale agreement; breached the contract on the WTMA lease; committed fraud or fraudulent inducement; were involved in a civil conspiracy by aiding and abetting the commission of fraud; and committed negligent misrepresentation.

The Florida company is seeking a court judgement against the Defendants, “jointly and severally,” for the Florida company’s actual damages. The building was sold to the Florida company for $13.1 million. The lawsuit also requests attorneys’ fees and collection costs; and interest in addition to any other relief the court may grant.

The defendants denied the allegations.

The plaintiffs are represented by M. Kasey Ratliff of Dallas. The defendants are represented by San Angelo attorney Jon Mark Hogg along with Austin attorneys Karen Burgess and William R. "Trip" Nix, III, of Austin.

As of June 15, the case had not been assigned to a district court.

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Jeff L, Wed, 06/16/2021 - 05:29

This isn't a surprise. The medical treatment by some of the doctors there was to say the least worse than Shannon. Now that shannon owns them it won't be any better. To find them involved in a scam fits the bill completely. I received treatment there for an injured hand and the only thing they could do was an injection which didn't help. I really hope they close permanently and San Angelo will finally get real doctors who know what an xray machine is and how to procure treatment for their patients that actually cures or heals their ailments. What a disgrace

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