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February 2011

Las Vegas Team Secures Summary Judgment in Physician Privileges Termination Dispute

Las Vegas Partners Scott Cook and Joe Hardy won summary judgment on behalf of the Nevada Health Professionals Assistance Foundation (NHPAF) and its executive director in the U.S. Federal District Court in Las Vegas in Tate v. University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, et. al.

Plaintiff was a trauma physician and surgeon at the University Medical Center. As the result of physician actions, including striking a patient in the trauma room, the Medical Executive Committee of the hospital restricted the physician's privileges and ordered that he be evaluated under the auspices of the Nevada Health Professionals Assistance Foundation (NHPAF), a diversionary program for troubled professionals with drug, alcohol, personality or behavioral problems. Plaintiff challenged the order for evaluation and did not comply with the rules for participation and, as a result, the hospital terminated his privileges.

The plaintiff sued both the county officials, hospital executive staff and the NHPAF and its director for violations of due process, procedure and fair hearing requirements. After discovery, Motions to Dismiss were filed by all defendants. United States District Judge Lloyd George found that the plaintiff had failed to establish his claims, and dismissed all but 2 counts of the 25 count complaint, including all claims against NHPAF and its executive director.



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