COLUMBUS, OhioIn a desperate attempt to derail a highly popular ballot measure that would push the dialysis industry to use some of its profits to improve patient care and conditions in its clinics, a group representing dialysis corporations in Ohio has filed a lawsuit with the state Supreme Court seeking to use a minor technicality to have the amendment removed from the ballot.

“This is right out of the dialysis corporations’ playbook to protect its massive profits without having to improve patient care or conditions in its clinics,” said Anthony Caldwell, the amendment’s proponent and a defendant in the suit. “The industry knows this ballot initiative is highly popular, so apparently they figure ‘if you can’t beat ’em, sue ’em.’ It’s an abuse of the court system and an outrageous attempt to deny Ohio voters their democratic rights.”

The lawsuit follows an attempt in the California Supreme Court to use technicalities to stop a similar initiative there. That lawsuit was tossed out in June 2018 in a one-sentence, 12-word court order.

Polling shows that 67 percent of Ohio voters favor the proposed amendment.

The suit alleges just five instances across all of Ohio in which paperwork was not completed prior to gathering signatures on the ballot petitions, meaning the industry would deny all Ohioans a vote because of a small, isolated technical error.

“Instead of using its profits to improve care for dialysis patients, this industry sent out high-priced lawyers to beat the bushes to find any violation they could come up with, and with all that effort, they apparently couldn’t find anybody who failed to file the proper forms, just a small handful who they claim filed them a few days late,” Caldwell said. “It’s pathetic, and we urge the court to dismiss this sham against the people of Ohio.”