United States District Court, D. Oregon
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
A. RUSSO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
October 26, 2016, pro se plaintiff Stephen Ireland initiated
this lawsuit against defendants Bend Memorial Clinic, P.C.
(“BMC”), Bend Neurological Associates, LLC
(“BNA”), Francena Abendroth, Craigan Griffin,
Michael Bell, David Schloesser, Laura Schaben, and Gary
Buchholz, asserting claims for unlawful conspiracy in
restraint of trade and intentional interference with economic
November 2016 and January 2017, defendants separately moved
to dismiss this action in its entirety. On August 8, 2017,
the Court granted defendants' motions. Ireland v.
Bend Neurological Assocs. LLC (“Ireland I”),
2017 WL 3404970 (D. Or. May 23), adopted by 2017 WL
3401268 (D. Or. Aug. 8, 2017).
August 22, 2017, plaintiff moved for leave to file a proposed
First Amended Complaint. On December 11, 2017, the Court
denied plaintiff's motion. Ireland v. Bend
Neurological Assocs. LLC (“Ireland II”),
2017 WL 6329561 (D. Or. Nov. 6), adopted by 2017 WL
6329706 (D. Or. Dec. 11, 2017).
now moves to file a proposed Second Amended Complaint
(“SAC”) pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 15. For the
reasons set forth below, plaintiff's motion should be
denied and this case should be dismissed.
history of this matter is well known to all parties.
Plaintiff and the individual defendants are neurologists. SAC
¶¶ 29-42 (doc. 92-1). Prior to August
2015, plaintiff and the individual defendants practiced in
Bend, Oregon, with corresponding hospital privileges at St.
Charles Medical Center-Bend (“SCMC”).
Id. ¶¶ 39-40, 42, 65. Insurance providers
“in the Bend service area require that physicians
provide hospital coverage for their patients.”
Id. at ¶ 53. Similarly, SCMC's bylaws
require physicians to supply emergency call coverage for
their patients: “if a physician's patient presents
to the hospital with a problem that falls within that
physician's scope of practice and requires immediate
in-person evaluation, the physician, or another physician
with similar training, must be present at the bedside within
40 minutes.” Id. at ¶ 49. Failure to
comply with SCMC's bylaws “can result in
disciplinary action, including the loss of medical staff
privileges.” Id. at ¶ 50.
unspecified time, plaintiff opened his own clinic, Neurology
of Bend (“NOB”), in “a 4300 square foot
office building with three dedicated physician offices, eight
examining rooms, [and] rooms for the performance of
electroencephalography and electromyography and
state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging suite.”
Id. at ¶¶ 1, 82. In 2012, “the last
full year NOB had two practicing neurologists,
Plaintiff's income was far beyond the 90th percentile for
neurologists nationwide, ” such that “NOB
represented an excellent opportunity for an
associate.” Id. at ¶¶ 83, 114. Due
to NOB's “very large overhead, ” plaintiff
“began searching for an associate in early 2013.”
Id. at ¶¶ 84, 87. BNA and BMC “were,
also, planning to engage additional neurologists”
around the same time. Id. at ¶¶ 86-87.
early June 2013, Bell, Schaben, Schloesser, Griffin, and
Abendroth sent plaintiff a letter specifying that, beginning
July 1, 2013 (the first day of the new six month call
schedule), they would “no longer call share with you
and your practice.” Id. at ¶ 56. On June
12, 2013, Bell, Schaben, Schloesser, Griffin, and Abendroth
sent plaintiff a second letter reiterating their intent to
“end . . . call sharing in any circumstances with you
and your clinic” and instructing plaintiff to
“make alternative arrangements to cover your patients
if you will be unavailable.” Id. at ¶ 57.
response to plaintiff's request for further
clarification, Abendroth sent an email several days later
stating, in relevant part:
You are responsible for covering your patients 24/7 or
arranging appropriate coverage in your absence, which
includes coverage for your patients if they present to the ER
or are admitted to the hospital and require, in person,
neurological care. If you, or an appropriate covering
provider, are not available to respond in a timely manner,
the medical staff provider will be notified by the ER or
admitting provider to request coverage of the patient as an
unassigned patient, and an EMS report filed.
Id. at ¶ 58. While Buchholz was not a signatory
to either letter, he nonetheless stopped sharing call
coverage with plaintiff on July 1, 2013. Id. at
to plaintiff, defendants' decision to no longer share
call coverage resulted in only two equally untenable options:
“1) constrain his personal and professional activities
so that he was available, 24/7/365, to get to [SCMC] within
40 minutes for the rest of his career or 2) relinquish his
Medical Staff privileges, attempt to continue to practice in
Bend and suffer the severe financial consequences.”
Id. at ¶¶ 69, 131. Plaintiff “did
not accept either option, ” and instead “retained
his hospital privileges and . . . left town when business or
personal reasons required.” Id. at
¶¶ 10-12, 52, 93, 131. In other words, plaintiff
continued to travel and pursue financial opportunities
out-of-town, “just as he had before the boycott,
” such that no “injury . . . from Defendants'
actions” occurred while he remained in Bend.
September 2015, plaintiff began a new job in Meridian, Idaho.
Id. at ¶¶ 12-13, 116. Prior to relocating,
plaintiff was required to close NOB and sell his office
building and equipment “at a significant discount to
[their] likely future value.” Id. at ¶
114-16. Furthermore, because his family elected to stay in
Bend, plaintiff incurred moving expenses,
“significantly increased living ...