More than 300 people from the Occupy Atlanta movement attempted to storm the Emory University Hospital Midtown on Friday following the Metro Atlanta Task Force’s lawsuit against Emory University and Emory Healthcare for allegedly collaborating in a joint conspiracy to sabotage the Peachtree Pine homeless shelter across from the hospital.
While no arrests were made during the march, members of Emory Police Department lined the entrance of the hospital to bar the protestors.
“While we support the right of Occupy Atlanta to protest on public streets, we also need to ensure that we continue to provide high quality health services without disruption to patients, their families and our dedicated staff,” Deputy Counsel General and Chief Counsel for Health Affairs Jane Jordan wrote in an email to the Wheel
At this time, there is no timeline for the litigation or decision on whether or not the lawsuits will come to a trial.
According to the complaint filed by The Murray Law Firm, LLC, Emory University and Emory Healthcare engaged in “deceptive, covert and malicious actions” designed to drive the Task Force from the Peachtree Pine building.
Anita Beaty, executive director of the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless, said that Emory has been colluding with others as part of a “terrible conspiracy against homeless men” since the Task Force’s inception in 1997.
Alleged actions include efforts to undercut public and private funding to the Task Force and a defamatory propaganda campaign, according to the complaint.
Jordan wrote that the claims against Emory “have no merit.”
“Emory University Hospital Midtown has long served a vital role in providing high-quality healthcare services to the people of Atlanta, including those without the ability to pay for their care,” according to a University statement. “In addition to serving those in need, Emory provides a substantial amount of uncompensated health care to the people of Atlanta and surrounding area through Emory physicians who practice at Grady Memorial Hospital through the Emory University School of Medicine.”
Among the defendants named in the other pending cases brought forth by the Metro Atlanta Task Force are Central Atlanta Progress, The Atlanta Downtown Improvement District and the City of Atlanta, according to the University statement.
Previous mediation attempts between the Task Force and other parties broke down, according to an Oct. 14 article in Atlanta Progressive News.
Asst. News Editor Jordan Friedman contributed reporting.
— Contact Roshani Chokshi.