SC Supreme Court decision allows Roper St. Francis to build in Berkeley County

SC Supreme Court decision allows Roper St. Francis to build in Berkeley County

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Roper St. Francis officials say they will move forward with plans to build a new Berkeley County hospital and medical office building following a ruling Friday by the state's highest court.

The South Carolina Supreme Court denied a request to review an Appellate Court's decision, effectively ending litigation on whether Roper should be allowed to build a facility in the county.

"We could not have asked for a better way to close out 2015," David Dunlap, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "We filed our request to open a new hospital on Dec. 10, 2008. The need for convenient, quality healthcare was strong at that time, and that need only has grown during the last seven years. We plan to do everything we can to move this project along as quickly as possible."

Roper St. Francis plans to immediately begin design efforts for a hospital and medical office building in the Carnes Crossroads community. Roper St. Francis already has land set aside for this project. Site work could begin as early as the end of 2016.

Trident Health System originally proposed building a 50-bed hospital in Moncks Corner while Roper St. Francis planned a 50-bed hospital near Goose Creek. Both applications were approved by the state's Department of Health and Environmental Control in June of 2009, but were delayed because of a lawsuit challenging each other's project.

Roper St. Francis Healthcare and Trident Health System went into mediation in 2011, but that mediation later failed. In September, 2012, the state's Administrative Law Court released a ruling that upheld DHEC's decision that two hospitals could be built in the county. In May of this year, the South Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed a February, 2015 decision that found Berkeley County could support two hospitals.

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