November 15, 2012

Summary of November 14, 2012 conference report for civil cases

The following is our summary of the Supreme Court’s actions on petitions for review in civil cases from the Court’s conference on Wednesday, November 14, 2012. The summary includes those civil cases in which (1) review has been granted, (2) review has been denied but one or more justices has voted for review, or (3) the Court has ordered depublished an opinion of the Court of Appeal.

Review Granted

Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals, S205568–Review Granted–November 14, 2012

The issue presented is whether a physician who, after losing his hospital staff privileges, may file a lawsuit under a whistleblower protection statute — Health and Safety Code section 1278.5 — without first challenging the hospital’s action by a petition for writ of mandate.

After the physician filed his lawsuit — which included a whistleblower cause of action — without first seeking a writ of mandate, the trial court denied the defendant hospital’s motion to strike the action under the anti-SLAPP statute, Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16. The Court of Appeal affirmed as to the whistleblower cause of action, holding, “there is no requirement that a section 1278.5 plaintiff seek judicial review of administrative action taken in peer review proceedings as a precondition to a civil action under section 1278.5.”

[Disclosure: Horvitz & Levy submitted an amicus letter in support of the petition for review.]

Review Denied (with dissenting justices)




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