The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable B. Lynn Winmill Chief U. S. District Judge
The Court has before it motions to dismiss filed by all defendants. The motions are fully briefed and at issue. For the reasons expressed below, the Court will grant the motions and dismiss this action.
Plaintiff John Bach claims that his wife, Cindy Lee Bach, died after receiving poor medical care by the defendant doctors and nurses. He claims that the poor medical care resulted from financial corruption by those running the county-owned hospital, resulting in a dysfunctional system that harmed patients. His complaint alleges that a broad array of defendants conspired to loot the county's health care system, including Teton County, the Teton County Board of Commissioners, Teton Valley Health Care, and the Teton Valley Health Care Board of Commissioners. Additional alleged conspirators include members of the media and the medical team responsible for the autopsy of Ms. Bach. Bach also challenges the constitutionality of Idaho statutes setting up a pre-litigation screening panel for medical malpractice cases and limiting the liability of governmental entities.
Prior to his wife's passing, Bach alleges that defendant Teton Valley Health Care ("TVHC") "was in dire financial straits." Id. at¶ 8. He alleges that many of the defendants were aware of this situation. Id. at ¶ 8-10. He also asserts that many of the defendants associated with TVHC were engaged in "money dissipations, laundering, and siphoning to past and present board of trustee members, agents, C.E.O, and C.F.O.'s, and members of defendant doctors and family cohorts." Id. at ¶ 9, 11. This allegedly created the "dysfunctional" state of TVHC during the time when his wife was receiving medical care and died there. Id. at ¶ 77.
Bach's wife checked into the hospital on November 5, 2008. Id. at ¶ 17. Defendant Dr. Chad Horrocks "diagnosed [her] with community acquired pneumonia."
Id. Because Ms. Bach's condition appeared to be improving on November 6, Dr. Horrocks planned to release her on November 8. However, at 5 a.m. on November 8, Ms. Bach "was found unresponsive in her bed." Id. at ¶ 32. Defendant Dr. Wolfe's efforts to resuscitate her failed. Id. at ¶ 33-34. Thereafter, the Teton County Coroner, Timothy Melcher sent Ms. Bach's remains to the neighboring town of Jackson, Wyoming for autopsy. Id. at ¶ 36. Bach alleges that this autopsy was performed incorrectly and that Teton County Deputy Coroner, defendant Natalie Kaufman, "issued a misleading Certificate of Death." Id. at ¶ 42.
Bach filed an application for pre-litigation screening with the Idaho State Board of Medicine on May 16, 2009. Id. at ¶ 45. His hearing was held on November 6, 2009. Id. Bach alleges that a conflict of interest existed among board members and that his hearing was terminated prematurely when he responded to the panel saying, "What part of 'no' don't you understand?" Id. at ¶ 49.
Bach's conspiracy theory extends to defendant Teton Valley News ("TVN"), its editor and reporter. TVN published an article titled "Bach Controversy Not Yet Settled," which reported the status of several cases Bach was involved in and noted both that he was a disbarred attorney and that he had a criminal history. Bach alleges that these media defendants "withheld information" from the public about the financial corruption at TVHC, id. at¶ 15, and published "outright falsehoods questioning Mr. Bach's integrity." Id. at ¶ 52.
Bach also alleges that the medical team responsible for Ms. Bach's autopsy was part of the larger conspiracy discussed above. He charges that they filed a false death certificate and "attempted to conceal the cause of Cindy Bach's death by destruction of evidence." Id. at ¶ 82.
IDENTIFICATION OF DEFENDANTS
Bach has sued 42 defendants. The following table organizes the defendants by the roles they allegedly played in Bach's conspiracy allegations.
Treating Physicians 1. Dr. Horrocks;
5. Kristen Irvine N. a/k/a Nikki Ripplinger;
Operation of Teton 9. Teton County (owns Teton Valley Hospital); Valley Hospital 10. Teton County Board of Commissioners;
11. Teton Valley Health Care (TVHC);
13. TVHC Board of Commissioners;
14. Mark Trupp (member TVHC Bd. of Comms.);
15. Larry Young (member TVHC Bd. of Comms.);
16. Michael Whitfield (member TVHC Bd. ...