Appeals Court Reverses Decision Barring Westlake Hospital's Closing

An NBC 5 news crew watched as workers shuffled medical gear around and hauled off hospital equipment Wednesday afternoon.

An appeals court has reversed a lower court ruling barring the closing of a Chicago-area hospital.

The Illinois Appellate Court on Thursday ruled unanimously the village of Melrose Park had no grounds to request a temporary restraining order against Pipeline Health, owner of Westlake Hospital. Village officials asserted the hospital's closure would adversely affect the community.

Earlier this week, Cook County Circuit Judge Moshe Jacobius said Pipeline Health must restore services at the 225-bed hospital by Thursday or will be fined $200,000 a day.

Pipeline Health said staffing issues caused it to suspend services. CEO Jim Edwards says the company is pleased the appellate court has ruled in its favor.

In a statement, Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico said the village will continue to fight the hospital's planned closure. The state Health Facilities and Review Board is scheduled to consider Pipeline's application to close the hospital.

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