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P. Radiation Oncology, LLC v. Queen's Med. Ctr.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

December 22, 2015

PACIFIC RADIATION ONCOLOGY, LLC, a Hawai'i limited liability corporation; PRO ASSOCIATES, LLC, a Hawai'i limited liability company; JOHN LEDERER, M.D., individually and as manager of the LLC's appearing for the Pacific Radiation Oncology Physicians; LAETON PANG, M.D.; EVA BIENIEK, M.D.; VINCENT BROWN, M.D.; PAUL DEMARE, M.D.; THANH HUYNH, M.D., Plaintiffs-Appellants, JOHN AND MARY DOE, 1 through 17, Appellant-Intervenor,
v.
THE QUEEN'S MEDICAL CENTER, a Hawai'i non-profit corporation; QUEEN'S DEVELOPMENT CORP., a Hawai'i for profit corporation; NOREEN D.S.W. MOKUAU; WILLIAM G. OBANA, M.D.; ARTHUR A. USHIJIMA; MARK H. YAMAKAWA; PAULA YOSHIOKA; SHARLENE K. TSUDA; RICHARD C. KEENE; CLINTON YEE; NALEEN M. ANDRADE, M.D.; ERNEST H. FUKEDA, JR.; ROBB OHTANI, M.D.; NEIL J. HANNAHS; CHRISTINE M. GAYAGAS; PETER K. HANASHIRO; ROBERT K. NOBRIGA; ERIC K. YEAMAN; JULIA C. WO; CAROLINE WARD ODA; PETER HALFORD, M.D.; BARRY WEINMAN, individually and in their capacities as Officers and Trustees of Queen's Medical Center, Defendants-Appellees

Argued and Submitted, Honolulu, Hawaii October 15, 2015.

Page 632

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii. D.C. No. 1:12-cv-00064-LEK-KSC. Leslie E. Kobayashi, District Judge, Presiding.

SUMMARY[*]

Civil Procedure

The panel affirmed the district court's denial of injunctive relief sought by Pacific Radiation Oncology, LLC against The Queen's Medical Center.

Pacific Radiation Oncology, consisting of a group of physicians specializing in radiation oncology, sued the Queen's Medical Center alleging unfair trade practices. During discovery, Pacific Radiation Oncology sought injunctive relief against the Queen's Medical Center alleging that the Center's review and use of patient records during litigation violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, 42 U.S.C. § 1320d, and the Hawaii Constitution art. 1, § 6.

The panel held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Pacific Radiation Oncology's motion for a temporary restraining order or in the alternative for a preliminary injunction. The panel followed the Eighth Circuit and adopted the rule of Devose v. Herrington, 42 F.3d 470, 471 (8th Cir. 1994), which established that there must exist a relationship between the injury claimed in a motion for injunctive relief and the conduct alleged in the underlying complaint. The panel held that in this case there was not a sufficient nexus between Pacific Radiation Oncology's claim of injury to patients' privacy in its motion for injunctive relief and the unfair trade practice claims in its underlying complaint.

Clare E. Connors (argued), Mark S. Davis, and Michael K. Livingston, Davis Levin Livingston, Honolulu, Hawaii, for Plaintiffs-Appellants.

Jerry M. Hiatt (argued), and Mahilani E.K. Hiatt, Hiatt & Hiatt, Honoka'a, Hawaii, for Appellant-Intervenor.

Paul Alston (argued), William S. Hunt, Clyde J. Wadsworth, and Claire Wong Black, Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing, Honolulu, Hawaii; Daniel M. Mulholland III, Horty, Springer & Mattern, P.C., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for Defendants- Appellees.

Before: Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, Richard C. Tallman, and Milan D. Smith, Jr., Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Tallman.

OPINION

Page 633

Richard C. Tallman, Circuit Judge:

A court's equitable power lies only over the merits of the case or controversy before it. When a plaintiff seeks injunctive relief based on claims not pled in the complaint, the court does not have the authority to issue an injunction. During discovery of its unfair trade practices case, Appellant Pacific Radiation Oncology, LLC (PRO) sought injunctive relief against Appellee The Queen's Medical Center (QMC) arguing that QMC's review and use of patient records violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), 42 U.S.C. § 1320d, and the Hawaii Constitution art. 1, § 6. The district court denied the injunction because ...


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