United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
GREGORY SCOTT AND MICHELLE SCOTT, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF THE MINOR J.S. AS THE PARENTS AND TUTORS OF J.S.
RUSTON LOUISIANA HOSPITAL COMPANY, LLC
MAURICE HICKS, JR." UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court are (1) Defendants Ruston Louisiana Hospital
Company, LLC d/b/a Northern Louisiana Medical Center
(“NLMC”) and Brady DuBois'
“Defendants”) Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss (Record Document 10); (2)
Magistrate Judge Hayes' Report and Recommendation on the
Motion to Dismiss (Record Document 27); and (3) significant
briefing by the parties regarding the Report and
Recommendation (Record Documents 28, 30, 35, 38, 44, 45, and
48). For the reasons assigned in the Report and
Recommendation (Record Document 27), having thoroughly
reviewed the record, including the written objections filed,
and concurring with the findings of the Magistrate Judge
under the applicable law, the Court hereby ADOPTS the
recommendations of the Magistrate Judge. In the instant
Memorandum Ruling, the Court specifically addresses (1)
Plaintiffs Gregory Scott and Michelle Scott's
(collectively “Plaintiffs”) arguments regarding
the Report and Recommendation; (2) Plaintiffs' new
evidence (Record Document 44-1); and (3) Plaintiffs' new
authority (Record Document 44).
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
a healthcare services company that owns and operates a
hospital with an emergency department in Ruston, Louisiana.
See Record Document 1 at 1-2. DuBois was the CEO at
the time of the events relevant to the instant action.
See id. at 5. Plaintiffs are residents of Lincoln
Parish, Louisiana, and parents of the minor J.S. See
id. at 1.
early hours of August 19, 2014, J.S. presented to NLMC's
emergency room with neurological deficiencies in both her
upper and lower extremities. See id. at 2. By 9:07
AM, the attending emergency room physician, Dr. James Taylor
(“Dr. Taylor”), wanted to order an MRI to
evaluate J.S.'s condition. See id. However, no
MRI was performed upon J.S. until after 3:00 PM. See
id. Plaintiffs allege, based upon deposition testimony
by Dr. Taylor, that the delay was the result of a policy at
NLMC “that requires that emergency room requests for
MRIs be summarily denied and delayed until reimbursement from
the insurance company has been certified.” Id.
Plaintiffs allege that if the MRI had been performed at the
time Dr. Taylor originally sought to perform it, the hematoma
on J.S.'s spinal cord would have been identified and
treated in enough time to prevent the permanent paralysis she
later developed or that the severity of her symptoms would
have been reduced. See id. at 2-3.
first filed a state malpractice claim with the Louisiana
Patient Compensation Fund, seeking review of the claim by a
medical review panel as required by the Louisiana Medical
Malpractice Act (“LMMA”), La. R.S. 40:1231.1,
et seq. See Record Document 15 at 1.
Plaintiffs took Dr. Taylor's deposition in that case, and
discovered that they might have a claim under the Emergency
Medical Treatment and Labor Act (“EMTALA”), 42
U.S.C. § 1395dd, et seq. See id.
Plaintiffs subsequently filed the instant action in federal
court on March 21, 2016, with the following causes of action:
(1) EMTALA violations for inadequate medical screening,
disparate screening, delay of appropriate medical screening,
and delay of further medical examination and treatment; (2)
violation of the Louisiana Anti-Dumping Statute
(“LADS”), La. R.S. § 40:2113.4-6; (3)
negligent administration under state tort law; (4)
malfeasance under state tort law; and (5) “intentional
action” by “sanitizing” medical records.
Id. at 8-13. Plaintiffs also affirmatively alleged
that any damages awarded for their EMTALA claims are not
subject to the LMMA's damages caps. See id. at
6, 2016, Defendants filed the instant Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to
Dismiss seeking (1) complete dismissal of all of
Plaintiffs' claims, with prejudice, or (2) alternatively,
a stay of all of Plaintiffs' claims pending a decision by
the medical review panel in the separate state medical
malpractice case in its Motion to Dismiss. See
Record Document 10 at 1. Defendants also argued that
“the plaintiffs' claims sounding in medical
negligence, which defendants submit encompasses all
complaints made herein, are premature.” Record Document
10-2 at 3. After extensive briefing on the Motion, Magistrate
Judge Hayes issued a Report and Recommendation recommending
that the Motion be granted in part with the following
1) Dismissal of Plaintiffs' intentional tort claims with
2) Dismissal of Plaintiffs' EMTALA claims against DuBois
3) Dismissal of Plaintiffs' claim that their EMTALA
claims are not subject to the LMMA's damages caps with
4) Dismissal of Plaintiffs' claims under LADS and for
negligence and malfeasance without prejudice as premature
because they fall under the LMMA's definition of medical
malpractice and therefore must first be presented to a
medical review panel.
See Record Document 27 at 26-27. It also recommended
staying the instant action pending the outcome of the related
medical review panel in the state malpractice case. See
id. Finally, it recommended that the Motion be denied
with respect to Plaintiffs' EMTALA claims against NLMC,
leaving the EMTALA claims against NLMC as the only remaining
claims in the instant action. After the Magistrate Judge issued
her Report and Recommendation, the parties have gone through
several rounds of briefing regarding its recommendations, and
the matter is ripe for a decision by this Court. See
Record Documents 28, 30, 35, 38, 44, 45, and 48.
Standard of Review for Magistrate Judge Hayes' Report and
District Court refers a dispositive matter like a Rule
12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted to a Magistrate Judge, the
Magistrate Judge is required to enter a recommended
disposition of the matter into the record. See 26
U.S.C. § 636(b)(A) and (B); see Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b). Any party may then object to the Magistrate
Judge's recommendations. See 26 U.S.C. §
636(b)(C). The District Court must then “make a de
novo determination of those portions of the report or
specified proposed findings or recommendations to which
objection is made.” Id.
The Rule 12(b)(6) Standard
8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs the
requirements for pleadings that state a claim for relief,
requiring that a pleading contain "a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief." The standard for the adequacy of complaints
under Rule 8(a)(2) is now a "plausibility" standard
found in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544 (2007), and its progeny. Under this standard,
"factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level . . . on the assumption
that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if
doubtful in fact)." Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555-556. If a pleading only contains "labels and
conclusions" and "a formulaic ...