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Biondo v. Kootenai Hospital District

United States District Court, D. Idaho

August 28, 2017

NATALE J. BIONDO, Plaintiff,
v.
KOOTENAI HOSPITAL DISTRICT, d/b/a, KOOTENAI HEALTH Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          B. Lynn Winmill, Chief Judge United States District Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         The Court has before it Defendant Kootenai Hospital District's Renewed Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 19). Having reviewed the briefing and the record, the Court enters the following Order granting Kootenai's motion.

         BACKGROUND

         Natale J. Biondo was, and is, a licensed physician's assistant in the State of Idaho. Second Amended Complaint ¶ 5, Dkt. 18. He applied for medical staff privileges at Kootenai Health. Id. ¶ 7. Despite a positive recommendation from the credentialing committee, the Kootenai Hospital District Board denied Biondo's request for medical staff privileges. Id. ¶¶ 7, 8. They expressed the following reasons as their justification for that decision:

- Documented poor clinical judgment.
- Documented unwillingness or inability to learn basic clinical concepts.
- Termination of employment at Kootenai Health in September 2010 due to failure to maintain certification as required by medical staff policy.
- Rehired by Kootenai Health in June 2013. “Notice of Intent to Terminate” Issued and acknowledged by [Biondo] October 2015 for failure to comply with performance improvement plans. The letter resulted in [Biondo's] resignation.
- Not eligible for rehire at Kootenai Health due to the reasons listed above.

Second Amended Complaint, Exhibit B, Dkt. 18. Biondo then filed his complaint in this action, claiming that his constitutional due process rights were violated, and that Kootenai Health violated Idaho Code § 48-105, the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. §§1-7, and the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. §§12-27. Id. ¶¶ 18-39. The Court granted in part and denied in part Defendants' first motion to dismiss - denying the motion as to the due process claims, but granting it on all other claims (Sherman Act, Clayton Act, and Idaho Competition Act claims) with leave to amend. Biondo filed an amended complaint, which Defendants have again asked the Court to dismiss.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ” in order to “give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964 (2007). While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss “does not need detailed factual allegations, ” it must set forth “more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Id. at 555. To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570. A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Id. at 556. The plausibility standard is not akin to a “probability requirement, ” but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Id. Where a complaint pleads facts that are “merely consistent with” a defendant's liability, it “stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of ‘entitlement to relief.'” Id. at 557.

         The Supreme Court identified two “working principles” that underlie Twombly in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). First, the court need not accept as true, legal conclusions that are couched as factual allegations. Id. Rule 8 does not “unlock the doors of discovery for a plaintiff armed with nothing more than conclusions.” Id. at 678- 79. Second, to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must state a plausible claim for relief. Id. at 679. ‚ÄúDetermining whether a complaint states a plausible ...


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