88 F.3d 482 (7th Cir. 1996), 95-3139, Addis v. Holy Cross Health System Corp.

Docket Nº:95-3139.
Citation:88 F.3d 482
Party Name:Howard M. ADDIS, M.D., Howard M. Addis, M.D., Surgeon, Incorporated, and TJB Partnership, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. HOLY CROSS HEALTH SYSTEM CORPORATION, St. Joseph's Care Group, Incorporated, St. Joseph's Medical Center, Incorporated, St. Joseph's Horizon Corporation, Incorporation, George B. Friend, GVS Management, Incorporated, George B. Friend,
Case Date:July 08, 1996
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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Page 482

88 F.3d 482 (7th Cir. 1996)

Howard M. ADDIS, M.D., Howard M. Addis, M.D., Surgeon,

Incorporated, and TJB Partnership, Plaintiffs-Appellees,

v.

HOLY CROSS HEALTH SYSTEM CORPORATION, St. Joseph's Care

Group, Incorporated, St. Joseph's Medical Center,

Incorporated, St. Joseph's Horizon Corporation,

Incorporation, George B. Friend, GVS Management,

Incorporated, George B. Friend, M.D., Incorporated, Thomas

R. Gruszynski, Thomas R. Gruszynski, M.D., Incorporated,

Patrick J. O'Dea, and Michiana Gastroenterology,

Incorporated, Defendants-Appellants.

No. 95-3139.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

July 8, 1996

        Argued Feb. 21, 1996.

Page 483

        Jay Lauer, South Bend IN, Michael J. Howlett, Jr., Jack Hagerty (argued), Shefsky, Froelich & Devine, Chicago, IL, for Howard M. Addis.

        Thomas Campbell, Daniel D. McDevitt, Alan R. Dial, Gardner, Carton & Douglas, Chicago, IL, Timothy W. Woods (argued), Thomas F. Lewis, Jr., Jones, Obenchain, Ford, Pankow, Lewis & Woods, South Bend, IN, David C. Jensen, Frederick F. Eichhorn, Jr., Judith I. Snare, Alyssa D. Forman, Eichhorn & Eichhorn, Hammond, IN, Robert J. Konopa, Margot F. Reagan, Konopa & Murphy, South Bend, IN, Gregory G. Wrobel, James A. Morsch, Vedder, Price, Kaufman & Kammholz, Chicago, IL, Edward A. Chapleau, Chapleau & Kuehl, South Bend, IN, Gary J. Rickner, Barrett & McNagny, Fort Wayne, IN, for defendants-appellants.

        Before BAUER, KANNE, and ROVNER, Circuit Judges.

        KANNE, Circuit Judge.

        Howard M. Addis, M.D., and other plaintiffs sued multiple defendants on claims for relief under federal antitrust and racketeering laws and on supplemental state law claims. The district court awarded the defendants summary judgment on the claims for relief under federal law and dismissed without prejudice the plaintiffs' state law claims, but the district court declined to determine whether the defendants were entitled to immunity from damages under the Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986, 42 U.S.C. §§ 11111-12.

        In this appeal, we must decide whether the defendants' postjudgment motion required the district court to determine the propriety of awarding them attorney fees under the fee-shifting provision of the Health Care Act, 42 U.S.C. § 11113. We emphasize at the outset the district court's Herculean labors in its handling of this multifaceted dispute, which gives meaningful expression to the concerns that animated Congress in its creation and approval of the Health Care Act. However, we are forced to conclude that while the district court was not required to address the issue of the defendants' immunity under § 11111 in ruling on their motion for summary judgment, it was obligated by § 11113 to resolve the defendants' request for attorney fees, and we remand this matter for further proceedings.

        I

        This case has a long and involved history, but the events pertaining to this appeal are fairly straightforward. The defendants moved for partial summary judgment on the plaintiffs' claims for relief under federal law,

Page 484

and the plaintiffs chose not to oppose that motion. The district court did not base its ruling on this tactical decision by the plaintiffs but instead addressed the merits of the plaintiffs' federal claims. The district court accepted those facts asserted by the defendants that were supported by the record because the plaintiffs chose not to controvert any of those facts. We accordingly take the facts as found by the district court in its order granting partial summary judgment in favor of the defendants.

        During the time relevant to this lawsuit, Howard M. Addis was a medical doctor licensed to practice medicine in the state of Indiana and served on the staff at Saint Joseph's Medical Center in South Bend. 1 In August of 1993, the Medical Center's professional review board-known as the Staff Credentials Committee--began an inquiry into the care provided Mrs. Jean Riley by Dr. Addis. Dr. Addis had performed invasive surgery upon Mrs. Riley after failing to diagnose and treat with appropriate antibiotics an infection in her prosthetic heart valve. Dr. George Friend, chair of the Medical Center's surgery department, initiated the inquiry (after consulting with two other doctors) by requesting corrective action from Dr. Paul Howard, chief of staff at the Medical Center.

        The credentials committee held meetings on September 9 and September 20...

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