BRADENTON, Fla. — In a ruling denying Birmingham, Ala., the ability to sue bankrupt Jefferson County over maintaining a hospital for the indigent, the judge overseeing the Chapter 9 case repeatedly blamed the state of Alabama for precipitating the county's bankruptcy filing in November 2011.

Birmingham Mayor William Bell and the city had asked the bankruptcy court to allow a lawsuit to be filed in state court to stop the County Commission from closing inpatient and emergency-room care at the county-owned Cooper Green Mercy Hospital for the indigent. Birmingham is the county seat.

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