Cases denying hospitals’ summary judgment motions based upon the Health Care Quality Improvement Act (HCQIA) immunity are rare. Stratienko v. Chattanooga-HamiltonCountyHospital Authority (full text opinion below) is one of the exceptions in which the physician not only defeated the motion for summary judgment, but also obtained an injunction against the summary suspension.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee denied the hospital’s motion for summary judgment. The Hospital suspended Dr. Stratienko’s clinical privileges within two hours after an alleged physical altercation with another physician. Because of the precipitous timing of the suspension, the Court ruled that a jury could conclude that the elements of HCQIA had not been satisfied.
Furthermore, the physician had obtained an injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the summary suspension pending the exhaustion of the remedies under the Bylaws, which the District Court declined to dissolve.