Melamed v. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Statements and conduct during a hospital’s peer review of a staff physician are protected under the Anti-SLAPP statute, and cannot be challenged by the physician unless he has successfully sought relief in court from the peer review’s conclusion. A hospital peer review proceeding to discipline a staff physician is an official proceeding.  Statements made and actions taken during the peer review are protected conduct under the Anti-SLAPP statute.  CCP 425.16(e).  Plaintiff failed to show a probability of success on his claims arising from his suspension during a peer review proceeding following his botching a surgery.  Plaintiff could not prevail on his H&S Code 1278.5, which protects from retaliation persons reporting problems about a hospital’s quality of patient care.  Plaintiff had not reported a problem with patient care to the hospital, but instead had told the hospital it had the equipment needed for the surgery—though he told the patient’s parents the contrary.  The rest of plaintiff’s claims were barred because he had not appealed the peer review process’s conclusion through the courts.  His failure to exhaust that process first barred his lawsuit.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 1 (Johnson, J.); February 27, 2017; 2017 WL 750493

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