Court rules Ventas may immediately collect $102M

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Health care real estate investment trust Ventas Inc. said a federal court has ruled it can immediately collect $102 million in damages awarded by a federal jury in 2009 in a judgment against HCP Inc.

The two companies had agreed to delay payment of the funds while HCP appealed the decision. In May, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the judgment and ordered a second trial to decide punitive damages. Those proceedings are set to begin in February.

Ventas, based in Chicago, said late Monday that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky ruled that HCP could not further delay enforcement of the judgment. In the case, Ventas accused HCP of driving up the purchase price of Sunrise Senior Living real estate investment trust.

HCP of Long Beach, Calif., said in a separate statement it will promptly pay the $102 million. It had accrued the full amount in the third quarter of 2009, and the payment will have no additional impact on its earnings.

Ventas operates a portfolio of senior housing communities, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, medical office buildings and other properties in 47 states and two Canadian provinces.

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