Losing bidder in mega-hospital site selection launches lawsuit

GEM Properties filed a lawsuit against Windsor Regional Hospital, saying the site selection process for the new mega-hospital location was unfair.
David Musyj, the CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital, says deal for mega-hospital site will go ahead. (Aadel Haleem/CBC)

GEM Properties Inc. has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Windsor Regional Hospital, claiming the selection process for the proposed $2-billion mega-hospital project was unfair.

The company's land, located near Lauzon Parkway and Tecumseh Road East, was heavily favoured to be the site of the new hospital after the first phase of selection, but the final decision came down to price, according to David Musyj, CEO of Windsor Regional.

GEM Properties basically priced itself out of the competition, Musyj said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. The company asked for $136,000 per acre of land, compared to the winning bid near the airport that came in at $100,000 per acre.

A 30 per cent price difference was a significant factor, Musyj explained, particularly considering each bidder knew cost would be a factor in the next round of the process.

"There were specific discussions with each of the properties that went forward to the second phase regarding the importance of price," Musyj said.

$10-million lawsuit

GEM Properties is suing the hospital for $10 million, according to the statement of claim filed in Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The document also asks for an interim injunction on the land deal the hospital reached with the successful bidder.

The owners of the property selected for the new hospital — Michael and Mary Jane O'Keefe — are also named in the statement of claim.

Mary Jane O'Keefe did not want to comment when contacted by CBC on Wednesday evening, but Musyj questions why the couple were named in the lawsuit at all.

"I don't know, I think that's interesting. You don't really need to do that," Musyj said.

The hospital plans to file its statement of defence within the 20-day deadline. There are no plans to revisit site selection for the proposed hospital, according to Musyj.

"We have to proceed," he said. "It's unfortunate the second-place property was not successful, but they were not and, as a result, we're moving forward."

The allegations in the statement of claim have not been proven in court.

Neither GEM Properties, nor the company's lawyer, could immediately be reached for comment.

Read the statement of claim:

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