Justia Health Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
Foster, et al. v. MO Dept. of Health and Senior Servs., et al.
Plaintiff, her husband, and their jointly owned company filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against two employees of the Department (Hansen and Watkins), alleging violations of their due process rights. Plaintiffs argued, inter alia, that the Department failed to provide plaintiff with actual notice of her placement on the disqualification list and deprived all the plaintiffs of due process. The court could find no authority or "general constitutional rule" requiring Hansen and Watkins to provide plaintiff final oral notice or request written confirmation of her termination in addition to the notice and opportunity for hearing they had already provided. Therefore, the court concluded that placing plaintiff on the disqualification list was not a deprivation of due process rights. Accordingly, Hansen and Watkins were entitled to qualified immunity on the individual capacity claims against them. Plaintiff's remaining claim was without merit. The court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Foster, et al. v. MO Dept. of Health and Senior Servs., et al." on Justia Law
Ketroser, et al. v. Mayo Foundation, et al.
Relators brought a qui tam action under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 3729(a)(1)(A) and (B), alleging that the Mayo Foundation and others billed Medicare for surgical pathology services it did not provide. The government intervened and the parties settled. Relators then filed a Second Amended Complaint asserting additional claims. On appeal, relators challenged the district court's dismissal of their additional claim that Mayo fraudulently billed for services it did not provide whenever it prepared and read a permanent tissue slide but did not prepare a separate written report of that service. As a preliminary issue, the court concluded that relators satisfied their burden of showing that the public disclosure bar did not deprive the court of jurisdiction over relators' claim. On the merits, the court concluded that nowhere in the Medicare regulations or in the American Medical Association Codebook has the court found a requirement that physicians using the CPT codes for surgical pathology services must prepare the additional written reports that relators claimed Mayo fraudulently failed to provide. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Ketroser, et al. v. Mayo Foundation, et al." on Justia Law
B.A.B., et al v. The Board of Education, et al
Plaintiffs, a fifth grade student and his mother, commenced this action against the St. Louis Board of Education and two nurses, asserting Fourth Amendment and substantive due process claims under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and state law claims for negligence and negligent supervision. The student was administered an H1-N1 shot by a school nurse despite telling the nurse, and presenting a signed parental form confirming, that his mother did not consent to the vaccination. The court held that the district court correctly noted that a local government entity, such as the Board, could not be sued under section 1983 respondeat superior theory of liability; plaintiffs' failure to train claims against the Board were properly dismissed for either failure to plead a plausible claim or failure to state a claim; and claims against Nurse Clark were dismissed because the nurse was acting within her official capacity and had immunity from suit. View "B.A.B., et al v. The Board of Education, et al" on Justia Law
Kinder, et al v. Geithner, et al
Plaintiffs, including Samantha Hill and Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, acting in his personal capacity, brought this action to challenge various provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119. The district court dismissed the suit for lack of standing. Because neither Hill nor Kinder pleaded sufficient facts to establish an injury-in-fact, both plaintiffs lacked standing to sue, and there was no Article III case or controversy. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Kinder, et al v. Geithner, et al" on Justia Law
Schilf v. Eli Lilly & Co.
Approximately one month after Dr. Richard Briggs prescribed sixteen-year-old Peter Schilf Cymbalta for his depression, Peter committed suicide. The Cymbalta literature did not include an FDA-approved black box warning stating that Cymbalta could induce suicidality in children diagnosed with depression. Peter's parents (Appellants) sued Eli Lilly & Company and Quintiles Transnational Corporation ("Lilly"), alleging that Lilly's failure to warn and deceit caused the death of Peter. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Lilly. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, holding (1) there were genuine issues of material fact whether Dr. Briggs knew the suicide-related information that an adequate warning would have contained; and (2) there were genuine issues of material fact whether an adequate warning would have changed Dr. Briggs' decision to prescribe Cymbalta to Peter. View "Schilf v. Eli Lilly & Co." on Justia Law
Planned Parenthood Minn, N.D., S.D. v. Rounds
The Governor and Attorney General of South Dakota, along with two intervening crisis pregnancy centers and two of their personnel appealed the district court's permanent injunction barring enforcement of a South Dakota statute requiring the disclosure to patients seeking abortions of an "increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide" and the underlying grant of summary judgment in favor of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and its medical director Dr. Carol Ball. The district court found that this advisory would unduly burden abortion rights and would violate physicians' First Amendment right to be free from compelled speech. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, holding that on its face, the suicide advisory presented neither an undue burden on abortion rights nor a violation of physicians' free speech rights. View "Planned Parenthood Minn, N.D., S.D. v. Rounds" on Justia Law
Greenbrier Nursing v. U.S. Dep’t of Health & Human Servs.
The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) imposed a civil money penalty on Greenbrier Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, a skilled nursing facility in Arkansas, for noncompliance with Medicare participation requirements. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Greenbrier's petition for review, holding (1) substantial evidence supported HHS's finding that Greenbrier was not in substantial compliance with 42 C.F.R. 483.25; (2) the finding that Greenbrier's noncompliance with section 483.25 rose to the level of immediate jeopardy was not erroneous; and (3) judicial review of two of Greenbrier's objections to the monetary penalty was barred, and Greenbrier received adequate notice of its noncompliance. View "Greenbrier Nursing v. U.S. Dep't of Health & Human Servs." on Justia Law
Davis v. Jefferson Hosp. Ass’n
Dr. Lee Davis, an African-American cardiologist, obtained medical-staff privileges at Jefferson Regional Medical Center (JRMC). Later, JRMC's Board of Directors voted to revoke Davis's medical-staff privileges for poor quality of patient care, improper medical documentation, and unprofessional behavior. Davis filed the instant suit in federal district court, alleging, inter alia, race discrimination and retaliation, in violation of 42 U.S.C. 1981 and the Arkansas Civil Rights Act (ACRA), and conspiracy to interfere with his civil rights, in violation of 42 U.S.C. 1985(3). The district court granted summary judgment to Defendants, JRMC, its CEO, and several physicians (Defendants), and dismissed all of Davis's claims. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) because Davis failed to provide any evidence giving rise to an inference that Defendants racially discriminated against him, the district court did not err in granting summary judgment on Davis's race discrimination claims; (2) Davis failed to establish a prima facie case of retaliation under section 1981 and ACRA; and (3) the district court did not err in dismissing Davis's civil rights conspiracy claim pursuant to section 1985(3), as Davis failed to show any racial animus on the part of Defendants. View "Davis v. Jefferson Hosp. Ass'n " on Justia Law
Shelton v. AR Dept. of Human Services, et al.
Plaintiff, as the administratrix of Brenda Shelton's estate, appealed the district court's dismissal of her civil action against several public officials and health officials. The complaint alleged shortcomings in the way medical professionals at a state mental health facility responded after Brenda hanged herself while a patient at the facility. The district court dismissed all federal claims with prejudice and dismissed the state law claims without prejudice, electing not to exercise jurisdiction over the state law claims. The court held that the circumstances did not trigger duties related to involuntary commitment nor did they give rise to a constitutional-level of care. The court also held that a claim based upon an improper medical treatment decision could not be brought pursuant to either the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., or the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. 701 et seq. View "Shelton v. AR Dept. of Human Services, et al." on Justia Law
United States v. Whispering Oaks Residential, et al.
Whispering Oaks appealed the district court's rulings granting the Government's motion to compel information related to a healthcare fraud investigation. The court affirmed the judgment because the subpoena was issued pursuant to a lawful authority, for a lawful purpose, requesting information relevant to the lawful purpose, and the information sought was not unreasonable. Further, Whispering Oaks had not met its burden of showing that enforcement of the subpoenas at issue would be an abuse of the court's process. View "United States v. Whispering Oaks Residential, et al." on Justia Law