[MMA News Now, Oct. 17, 2013]
On Oct. 15, the Minnesota Supreme Court agreed to review the case of Avera Marshall Medical Center Staff vs. Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center.
The MMA, AMA, Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) and the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians will act as amicus counsel in the case. The group’s brief is due to the court on Nov. 21. Oral arguments will likely not take place until 2014.
This past July, a three-judge Minnesota Court of Appeals panel affirmed a district court’s ruling that the Avera Marshall Medical Center staff is not a legal entity with the capacity to sue. In addition, the panel upheld the lower court’s ruling that bylaws do not constitute a contract between the medical staff and the hospital.
In August, the medical staff decided to petition the state Supreme Court to hear the case although it is under no obligation to do so. The Supreme Court elected to hear the case because it determined the case presented important questions of law that should be resolved.
The MMA and AMA jointly filed an amicus brief earlier this year. They were supported by the American Osteopathic Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians and MAFP. An amicus brief is filed by a party not directly involved in a suit, but has an interest in the outcome of the litigation. It provides helpful information to the court in its consideration of the issues raised by the parties to the litigation and usually urges the court to reach a decision favorable to the interests of the amicus.
For background on the case, visit the MMA News Now Archives