Judge restrains Columbine, vendors from ceasing services to North Shore Manor

LOVELAND — U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Joseph Rosania Jr. has granted a restraining order in the North Shore Manor bankruptcy case that prevents Columbine Management Services Inc. and related vendors from withdrawing services prior to April 15.

The attorney for North Shore Manor Inc., Aaron Garber, filed a complaint April 3 that alleged that Columbine, the longtime management company for the nursing home at 1365 W. 29th St. in Loveland, was prematurely ending its management agreement and that related vendors — pharmacy, transportation, distribution, medical equipment, therapy services, and infusion services — were unilaterally, without bankruptcy court authorization, ceasing to provide services as of April 5.

The Columbine actions were preceded by a notice March 28 from North Shore that it was engaging a new management company that would take over about April 15. It would take several days longer than that to replace all the vendors.

Garber in his filing alleged that “if the debtor is unable to continue to successfully operate due to the defendants’ systematic attack on operations of the debtor … WHII (Wapello Holdings II, the holder of notes on the facility) will act on its lien…”

“Defendants’ actions have thus been made with the deliberate aim of preventing the debtor from continued operations and the end goal of seizing control of the facility through foreclosure by WHII.
Wapello Holdings, like the vendors, is controlled by Columbine and its owner, Robert Wilson.

Rosania wrote in his April 4 order that “it clearly appears …that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to North Shore Manor Inc. and the patients in its skilled nursing facility, absent immediate entry of this order.”

In addition to the injury, Rosania said Columbine’s actions could result in the “frustration of the bankruptcy restructuring process.”

He ordered Columbine and its vendors to “immediately cease any and all efforts to terminate the management agreement and vendor agreement and continue to perform” under those agreements through April 14.

He also ordered a hearing on the preliminary injunction for 10 a.m. April 14 for the court to hear evidence in the case.

A request for comment made to the attorney for North Shore was not acknowledged as of publication time. Attorney John O’Brien, attorney for Columbine, did respond but directed BizWest to a court order dated March 31 in which the judge permitted Columbine to remove intellectual property — essentially signage, logos, uniforms, forms — from North Shore, but he stayed or delayed implementation of the order until April 14. 

The actions filed in Federal Bankruptcy Court in Denver are North Shore Manor Inc., case number 23-10809, and North Shore Associates LLC, case number 23-10808. The April 4 order falls under the 23-10809 filing, which also specifically lists Columbine Management Services, Centre Pharmacy Inc., Centre Elderly Transportation Inc., Columbine Distribution Center LLC, Columbine Medical Equipment Inc., Front Range Therapy Systems Inc., and Poudre Infusion Therapy LLC. On March 31, the judge ended joint administration of the two bankruptcy cases, which for the most part included the same parties — one case involving real property and the other involving nursing-home operations.

Source: BizWest

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