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Kadlec Medical Center v. Lakeview Anesthesia Associates

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
2005 WL 1309153 (2005)


Dr. Robert Lee Berry was a practicing anesthesiologist and shareholder in Lakeview Anesthesia Associates, L.L.C. (Lakeview) (defendant). Berry also had staff privileges at Lakeview Regional Medical Center (LRMC). In March 2001, Berry failed to respond to several pages while on a 24-hour shift at LRMC and was found sleeping in a chair and “appeared to be sedated.” Based on this incident and suspicions that Barry was stealing Demerol from the hospital, he was terminated from Lakeview and his LRMC staff privileges were revoked. Thereafter, Berry sought employment from Kadlec Medical Center (Kadlec) (plaintiff). Prior to his employment at Kadlec, the facility sent a letter to LRMC requesting recommendations and evaluations of Berry’s skills and abilities. Kadlec also included a questionnaire with specific questions it wanted answered. In response to the letter, LRMC sent Kadlec a very brief letter stating only that Berry was on staff between specific dates. No further information was given and the questionnaire was not filled out. Based on LRMC’s letter and the recommendations provided by Berry’s former colleagues at Lakeview, Kadlec hired him. Approximately a year later, Berry was impaired by drugs while performing a surgical procedure at Kadlec and committed gross negligence resulting in a patient suffering severe brain damage. During discovery of the subsequent malpractice case, Kadlec first learned that Berry had been fired from Lakeview “for cause.” Kadlec settled Berry’s malpractice case and then filed suit against Lakeview, its shareholders, and LRMC for intentional, negligent, and strict responsibility misrepresentation and negligence based on LRMC’s omission of material facts in the letter to Kadlec. The district court, in exercising diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, applied the substantive law of the forum state, Louisiana, in a hearing on the motion. LMRC’s moved for summary judgment.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (not provided)

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