Quinn v. Kent General Hosp., Inc., Civ. A. No. 84-509 CMW.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Delaware)
Writing for the CourtCALEB M. WRIGHT, Senior
Citation617 F. Supp. 1226
PartiesEdward F. QUINN, III, Plaintiff, v. KENT GENERAL HOSPITAL, INC., a Delaware corporation, Dennis E. Klima, James R. Reber, James B. McClements, M.D., T. Noble Jarrell, M.D., J. Robert Fox, M.D., and John C. Sewell, M.D., Defendants.
Decision Date16 August 1985
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 84-509 CMW.

617 F. Supp. 1226

Edward F. QUINN, III, Plaintiff,
v.
KENT GENERAL HOSPITAL, INC., a Delaware corporation, Dennis E. Klima, James R. Reber, James B. McClements, M.D., T. Noble Jarrell, M.D., J. Robert Fox, M.D., and John C. Sewell, M.D., Defendants.

Civ. A. No. 84-509 CMW.

United States District Court, D. Delaware.

August 16, 1985.


617 F. Supp. 1227
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617 F. Supp. 1228
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617 F. Supp. 1229
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617 F. Supp. 1230
William J. Wier, Jr., and Joseph G. Krauss, of Herlihy & Wier, Wilmington, Del., for plaintiff

Myron T. Steele, of Prickett, Jones, Elliott, Kristol & Schnee, Wilmington, Del., and John R. Williams, of Prickett, Jones, Elliott, Kristol & Schnee, Dover, Del., for defendants.

OPINION

CALEB M. WRIGHT, Senior District Judge.

This case was brought by Dr. Edward F. Quinn, III, after Kent General Hospital refused to admit him to its active medical staff. Dr. Quinn is an orthopedic surgeon with offices in Dover, Milford and Georgetown, Delaware. The defendant Kent General Hospital, Inc. (the "Hospital"), is a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Delaware and operates a facility at 640 South State Street, in Dover, Delaware, for the purpose of providing patient care, education and research. Individual defendants Dr. James B. McClements, Dr. T. Noble Jarrell, Dr. J. Robert Fox and Dr. John C. Sewell are engaged in the practice of medicine in the Dover, Delaware area and are members of the active medical staff of the Hospital. Individual defendants Dennis E. Klima and James P. Reber are the executive director and the associate executive director of the Hospital, respectively.

Dr. Quinn asserts that the Hospital's refusal to grant him active staff privileges gives rise to a variety of civil rights, antitrust and pendent state law claims, and that injunctive relief admitting him to the Hospital's active medical staff, as well as compensatory and punitive damages are appropriate. The case is now before the Court on the defendants' motions for summary judgment and a discovery protective order.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Under the Hospital's medical staff bylaws, there are five categories of appointment, with varying duties and privileges, to

617 F. Supp. 1231
the Hospital's medical staff. However, only physicians appointed to the active medical staff or the provisional active medical staff may admit patients to the Hospital. The bylaws further provide that all initial applicants to the active medical staff must serve a minimum twelve month period on the provisional active staff before they can be recommended for admission to the active staff. In accordance with this provision, on or about September 15, 1980, Dr. Quinn applied to the Hospital for appointment to the provisional active staff. This application was amended, at the request of Dr. McClements, so that the request was for appointment to the consulting medical staff rather than to the provisional active staff. The reason for this request was that, in Dr. McClement's opinion, the application for provisional active staff privileges would not be approved, on the ground that Dr. Quinn did not satisfy article II, part A of the Hospital's bylaws, which requires that a physician on the active medical staff "reside within reasonable distance of the Hospital." After it was so amended, the Hospital's board of directors recommended approval of Dr. Quinn's application, and Dr. Quinn was appointed to the consulting staff on March 2, 1981

By letter of May 4, 1981, Dr. Quinn advised Dennis E. Klima, the executive director of the Hospital, that he intended to apply for admission to the active medical staff. In his letter, Dr. Quinn informed Mr. Klima that the medical group of which he was a member had purchased a building adjacent to the Hospital to be used as an orthopedic clinic with resident facilities. By letter of May 5, 1981, Dr. Quinn formally requested the Hospital to change his status from that of consulting staff member to active staff member. He also advised Mr. Klima that there was no orthopedic emergency that would require a reaction time of less than 30 minutes and that the clinical facilities he and his associates had purchased adjacent to the Hospital could be used, if necessary, to follow a patient with an acute course.

By letter of July 16, 1981, Mr. Klima informed Dr. Quinn that the executive committee of the Hospital's medical staff had recommended that his application for admission to the provisional active staff be denied. Mr. Klima advised Dr. Quinn that his application had been denied because of the distance between Dr. Quinn's primary residence and primary office and the Hospital. The statement of grounds and specifications supporting the recommendation of the executive committee stated that the Hospital bylaw requiring admitting physicians to "reside within a reasonable distance of the hospital" had been "consistently construed in the past" to mean that physicians on the active medical staff reside within a 10 to 15 mile radius of the Hospital, and that Dr. Quinn's principal residence was approximately 25 miles from the Hospital. The executive committee also referred to a federal regulation governing the conditions under which federal aid is available to hospitals as supporting its decision. The regulation, 42 C.F.R. § 405.1021(h)(2), provides that "a member of the house staff or other physician" be "on duty or on call at all times and available within 15 or 20 minutes at the most."

The Hospital's bylaws provide for two levels of review of adverse decisions by the executive committee regarding admission to staff privileges, and Dr. Quinn availed himself of the full extent of these appeals. On August 31, 1981, a hearing panel was convened pursuant to article VIII of the medical staff bylaws. The hearing panel concluded that the decision of the executive committee was correct in denying Dr. Quinn's application for failure to meet the distance requirement set out in article II, part A of the bylaws. In accordance with the bylaws, Dr. Quinn then requested an appellate review of the hearing panel's decision and report. The review panel convened on November 19, 1981 and found that the action of the hearing panel had not been taken "arbitrarily, capriciously or with prejudice" and that the evidence submitted supported the action of the committee. One member of the review panel dissented as to the majority's interpretation of the distance requirement contained in the

617 F. Supp. 1232
bylaws. With this decision, Dr. Quinn exhausted all administrative remedies available to him under the Hospital's bylaws. On September 12, 1984, he filed the complaint in this case

II. SUMMARY JUDGMENT: The Civil Rights Causes of Action

Dr. Quinn's complaint alleges that the action of the Hospital in denying him active staff privileges has deprived him of certain rights guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, and by sections 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1985 of the United States Code, specifically:

"(a) The right not to be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. The aforementioned bylaw requirement has been arbitrarily and capriciously applied by the defendant Hospital against the plaintiff in that other physicians who reside outside of the 10 to 15 mile radius of Kent General Hospital have been accorded admission to the Active Medical Staff. This arbitrary and capricious enforcement of the bylaw against the plaintiff constitutes a breach of procedural due process.
(b) The right to equal protection of the laws. The application of the aforementioned bylaw as to the plaintiff arbitrarily and capriciously discriminates against the plaintiff and other physicians like him who are denied active staff privilege at Kent General Hospital solely due to the location of their residence outside the City limits of Dover.
(c) The right to equal protection of the laws. The application of the aforementioned bylaw as to the plaintiff arbitrarily and capriciously discriminates against the plaintiff and other physicians like him in that this bylaw is not applied to require that other medical personnel who are needed in emergency situations reside within a 10 to 15 mile radius of the Kent General Hospital."

It is well established that 42 U.S.C. §§ 19811 and 19822 provide causes of action only for discrimination based upon race or alienage. See Georgia v. Rachel, 384 U.S. 780, 788-92, 86 S.Ct. 1783, 1788-89, 16 L.Ed.2d 925 (1966); Takahashi v. Fish & Game Commission, 334 U.S. 410, 419-20, 68 S.Ct. 1138, 1142-43, 92 L.Ed. 1478 (1948); Glover v. Tower, 700 F.2d 556 (9th Cir.1983), aff'd., ___ U.S. ___, 104 S.Ct. 2820, 81 L.Ed.2d 758 (1984); Bell v. Brennan, 570 F.Supp. 1116, 1118 (E.D.Pa.1983); Rackin v. University of Pennsylvania, 386 F.Supp. 992, 1008-09 (E.D.Pa.1974). Since Dr. Quinn has not made any allegations that the Hospital or its staff discriminated against him because of his race or alienage, the complaint fails to state a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 or 1982, and summary judgment will be granted for the defendants as to these claims.

Dr. Quinn has also stated a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.3 While it has long been settled that section 1983 requires an element of state action or state involvement in the alleged deprivation of constitutional rights, privileges or immunities, the

617 F. Supp. 1233
precise nature and scope of the state action requirement has been the subject of ongoing judicial elaboration. See Civil Rights Cases, 109 U.S. 3, 11-14, 3 S.Ct. 18, 21-24, 27 L.Ed. 835 (1883); Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1, 13-23, 68 S.Ct. 836, 842-47, 92 L.Ed. 1161 (1948); Burton v. Wilmington Parking Authority, 365 U.S. 715, 721-26, 81 S.Ct. 856, 859-62, 6 L.Ed.2d 45 (1961); Moose Lodge No. 107 v. Irvis, 407 U.S. 163, 171-179, 92 S.Ct. 1965, 1970-1974, 32 L.Ed.2d 627 (1972); Jackson v. Metropolitan...

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17 practice notes
  • Doe on Behalf of Doe v. St. Joseph's Hosp. of Fort Wayne, No. 85-1211
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • 2 Abril 1986
    ...in this case. 6 We note that the Delaware district court has disagreed with our analysis in Marrese. See Quinn v. Kent Gen. Hosp., Inc., 617 F.Supp. 1226, 1238-40 7 Plaintiff argues that even if Indiana "actively supervises" the medical peer process as it relates to quality of care, there i......
  • St. Luke's Episcopal Hosp. v. Agbor, No. 96-0085
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • 30 Octubre 1997
    ...1027, 105 S.Ct. 3501, 87 L.Ed.2d 632 (1985); Posner v. Lankenau Hosp., 645 F.Supp. 1102 (E.D.Pa.1986); Quinn v. Kent Gen. Hosp., Inc., 617 F.Supp. 1226 (D.Del.1985). They also filed civil rights claims. See, e.g., Doe v. St. Joseph's Hosp., 788 F.2d 411 (7th Cir.1986); Quinn, 617 F.Supp. 12......
  • T.L. v. Cook Children's Med. Ctr., No. 02-20-00002-CV
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • 24 Julio 2020
    ...See Am. Mfrs. , 526 U.S. at 52–58, 119 S.Ct. 977 ; Blum , 457 U.S. at 1004, 102 S.Ct. 2777 ; see also Quinn v. Kent Gen. Hosp., Inc. , 617 F. Supp. 1226, 1234–35 (D. Del. 1985) (holding medical-peer-review statute, conferring immunity on good-faith actions under statute, did not transform p......
  • Massachusetts School of Law at Andover, Inc. v. American Bar Ass'n, No. 96-1792
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • 28 Febrero 1997
    ...the clear articulation and active supervision requirements urged by MSL are inapplicable. See Quinn v. Kent Gen. Hosp., Inc., 617 F.Supp. 1226, 1240 (D.Del.1985). In short, this case does not involve a delegation of state authority. To the contrary, the states use the ABA to assist them in ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • Doe on Behalf of Doe v. St. Joseph's Hosp. of Fort Wayne, No. 85-1211
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • 2 Abril 1986
    ...in this case. 6 We note that the Delaware district court has disagreed with our analysis in Marrese. See Quinn v. Kent Gen. Hosp., Inc., 617 F.Supp. 1226, 1238-40 7 Plaintiff argues that even if Indiana "actively supervises" the medical peer process as it relates to quality of care, there i......
  • St. Luke's Episcopal Hosp. v. Agbor, No. 96-0085
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • 30 Octubre 1997
    ...1027, 105 S.Ct. 3501, 87 L.Ed.2d 632 (1985); Posner v. Lankenau Hosp., 645 F.Supp. 1102 (E.D.Pa.1986); Quinn v. Kent Gen. Hosp., Inc., 617 F.Supp. 1226 (D.Del.1985). They also filed civil rights claims. See, e.g., Doe v. St. Joseph's Hosp., 788 F.2d 411 (7th Cir.1986); Quinn, 617 F.Supp. 12......
  • T.L. v. Cook Children's Med. Ctr., No. 02-20-00002-CV
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • 24 Julio 2020
    ...See Am. Mfrs. , 526 U.S. at 52–58, 119 S.Ct. 977 ; Blum , 457 U.S. at 1004, 102 S.Ct. 2777 ; see also Quinn v. Kent Gen. Hosp., Inc. , 617 F. Supp. 1226, 1234–35 (D. Del. 1985) (holding medical-peer-review statute, conferring immunity on good-faith actions under statute, did not transform p......
  • Massachusetts School of Law at Andover, Inc. v. American Bar Ass'n, No. 96-1792
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • 28 Febrero 1997
    ...the clear articulation and active supervision requirements urged by MSL are inapplicable. See Quinn v. Kent Gen. Hosp., Inc., 617 F.Supp. 1226, 1240 (D.Del.1985). In short, this case does not involve a delegation of state authority. To the contrary, the states use the ABA to assist them in ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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