The site sits west of the present Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi, and residents and city officials alike have speculated that Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. is considering it for the site of its proposed $250 million hospital. The purchase agreement that Baptist executed with the city of Oxford and Lafayette County requires that the new hospital be built within Oxford's city limits.
Jerrod Mills represents several people with an interest in Lafayette County property, including Memphis developer Kenny Farrell, whose Oxford Commons planned urban development that was early in public discussions was considered the most likely site for the new hospital.
Plaintiffs' attorney Brad Walsh contended that only one complainant, J.W. Walker of Oxford, had a legitimate connection to the case.
"The rest of these folks are mere window dressing and have no standing," he said.
The hospital's relocation is clearly on the minds of those involved. Plaintiff Bob King, one of the landowners petitioning to be included in the city, denied having had conversations with Memphis-based Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation, but asked if he'd talked with anyone representing Baptist, he declined comment.
Roberts made clear that Baptist's interest or lack thereof would not determine the case's outcome.
"You can suspect anything," he said.