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Pacific Radiation Oncology, LLC, A Hawai`I Limited v. the Queen's Medical Center

February 9, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Leslie E. Kobayashi United States District Judge


Before the Court is John Doe's*fn1 Motion to Intervene in the Plaintiffs' Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order, or in the Alternative, for a Preliminary Injunction ("Motion"), filed on February 1, 2012. Defendants The Queen's Medical Center, a Hawai`i Non-Profit Corporation, Queen's Development Corp, a Hawai`i for Profit Corporation, and the officers and/or trustees of Queen's Medical Center, in their individual and official capacities (collectively "Defendants") filed their memorandum in opposition on February 6, 2012. Plaintiffs Pacific Radiation Oncology, LLC, a Hawai`i Limited Liability Corporation, PRO Associates, LLC, a Hawai`i Limited Liability Corporation, and John Lederer, M.D., Individually and as a Manager of the LLCs appearing for the Pacific Radiation Oncology Physicians (collectively "Plaintiffs") did not respond to the Motion. The Court finds this matter suitable for disposition without a hearing pursuant to Rule LR7.2(d) of the Local Rules of Practice of the United States District Court for the District of Hawai`i. After careful consideration of the Motion, supporting and opposing memoranda, and the relevant legal authority, John Doe's Motion is HEREBY DENIED for the reasons set forth below.


The instant case arises from Defendants' decision to adopt a closed-facility model for the radiation oncology department of The Queen's Medical Center ("Queen's"). Plaintiffs represent six radiation oncologists who treat patients at Queen's, among other places, but who are not employed by Queen's.

Under the terms of the new policy, they would lose their hospital privileges at Queen's and would no longer be able treat their patients there. The new policy was to take effect on February 1, 2012. On January 27, 2012, in state court, Plaintiffs filed their Verified Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and for Damages ("the Complaint") and their Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, or in the Alternative, for a Preliminary Injunction ("Plaintiffs' Motion").

On February 3, 2012, this Court issued an order addressing the portion of Plaintiffs' Motion requesting a temporary restraining order ("TRO Order"). [Dkt. no. 19.] The Court granted Plaintiffs' request for a temporary restraining order in part and ordered that Defendants allow Plaintiffs to perform the procedures listed in the TRO Order at Queen's, including any in-patient treatment, hospitalization, chart or record review, surgery, follow-up care and/or scheduling associated with those procedures, until this Court rules on the remaining portion of Plaintiffs' Motion, which requests a preliminary injunction. One of the listed procedures is brachytherapy radiation therapy. [Id. at 20-21.] Plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction is set for hearing on February 14, 2012.

I. John Doe's Motion

John Doe states that he "only seeks to appear at the hearing for injunctive relief." [Mem. in Supp. of Motion at 3.] John Doe argues that, under the circumstances, the Court should grant him either intervention as of right under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a) or permissive intervention under Rule 24(b). John Doe has been diagnosed with Stage 4 advanced prostate cancer. He is a patient of Plaintiff John Lederer, M.D. [Motion, Aff. of Cancer Patient 1, at ¶¶ 1-2.] He states that his best possibility for a cure is high dose rate brachytherapy treatment, which can only be performed at Queen's. [Id. at ¶¶ 4, 6-7.] John Doe states that he does not want to change physicians because of his confidence in Dr. Lederer, who has performed the treatment hundreds of times, and because he does not believe there is anyone else in Hawai`i who is as qualified as Dr. Lederer. [Id. at ¶¶ 5, 10.]

John Doe argues that he meets all of the requirements for intervention as of right: the Motion is timely; he has an obvious interest in the outcome of Plaintiffs' Motion; the ruling on Plaintiffs' Motion may, as a practical matter, impede or impair his ability to obtain the life-saving treatment he needs at Queen's; and Plaintiffs do not adequately represent his interests. In the alternative, John Doe argues that permissive intervention is appropriate because his claim, that he is being denied live-saving treatment because of Defendants' actions, is common to the claims alleged by Plaintiffs. Further, John Doe argues that his intervention will not unduly delay the proceedings and will not prejudice Defendants.

II. Defendants' Opposition

In their memorandum in opposition, Defendants argue that John Doe's Motion is moot because Defendants will voluntarily allow Dr. Lederer to continue to treat patients at Queen's. Defendants also contend that the Motion is procedurally defective because: 1) Rule 24 does not permit intervention for a limited special purpose, as opposed to intervention in order to fully participate in the litigation; and 2) John Doe failed to attach a pleading setting forth his claim or defense, as required by Rule 24(c).

If the Court is inclined to consider the merits of the Motion, Defendants argue that John Doe cannot satisfy the requirements for intervention as of right under Rule 24(a). Defendants contend that John Doe's interest is not protected under any identified law and, even if he had a legally protectable interest, it is adequately represented by Plaintiffs. Defendants also argue that the Court should deny John Doe's request for permissive intervention because John Doe has not alleged any independent claims and, to the extent that he has asserted an interest separate from Plaintiffs' interests, John Doe has not established that there is an independent basis for jurisdiction over his claim. Further, injecting issues regarding John Doe's individual medical condition and treatment would unduly delay the proceedings. Defendants therefore urge the Court to deny John Doe's Motion.


I. Procedural ...

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