Firm Wins Appeal for Naples Community Hospital

Appeals Court Finds Hospital Followed its Bylaws and Did Not Breach a Contract

Naples, FL (November 2005) - The Florida Second District Court of Appeals has reversed a trial court’s order against Naples Community Hospital, Inc., finding that the hospital had not breached a contract and did follow its bylaws. 

On November 1, 1996, the hospital's parent company, Community Health Care, Inc., entered into an exclusive contract with a physician group to provide anesthetic and pain management services at the hospital. In 1997, Dr. F. Desmond Hussey, III, reapplied for clinical privileges in pain management at the hospital's facilities.  The hospital denied his application without a hearing, because it had entered into an exclusive contract with another provider.  Dr. Hussey sued the hospital for breach of contract under its bylaws, and the trial court found that he was contractually entitled to a hearing and granted injunctive relief.  The appeals court has reversed this decision, finding that the hospital was not required to give a hearing to a physician denied clinical privileges due to a business decision. 

"Naples Community Hospital carefully follows and abides by its Medical Staff Bylaws.  We are extremely pleased that the appeals court has vindicated the hospital in this instance by finding that the hearing process in the bylaws did not apply to a business decision to enter into an exclusive contract with a provider," said Lawrence A. Farese, a partner with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. and trial attorney for the hospital.