In Toranto v. Jaffurs, No. 16cv1709-JAH (NLS), 2018 WL 1410736 (S.D. Cal. Mar. 21, 2018), the district court determined that a pediatric plastic and craniofacial surgeon stated a claim for violations of the Sherman Act and defamation based on allegations that an employee of the University of California Board of Regents sent false, derogatory information to the hospital at which the surgeon sought admitting privileges, and that the employee and hospital officials conspired to deny him privileges. The physician alleged that the conspiracy restraining him from practicing resulted in longer patient wait time and higher costs and prevented certain complex pediatric craniofacial surgery procedures from being available at all. The court rejected the defendants' argument that they are a single entity incapable of conspiracy and that an employee cannot conspire with her employer. The court likewise rejected the defendants' argument that the unilateral power to deny privileges cannot result in a restraint of trade. Also significant, the court rejected the defendants' argument at the dismissal stage that the alleged statements of the employee of the Board of Regents that the physician was not fit to operate on children were privileged. The plaintiff alleged that the statements were not intended to aid in his evaluation, the employee viewed him as an economic threat to his practice and the employee acted out of a deep-seated animosity for him with the goal of denying him employment.
- How-to guide How-to guide: Understanding antitrust and unfair trade practices law and your organization’s compliance obligations (USA)
- How-to guide How-to guide: How to draft an antitrust–unfair trade practices compliance program (USA)
- How-to guide How-to guide: How to build a culture of antitrust law compliance (USA)