Court of Appeal affirms application of anti-SLAPP statute to summary suspension of medical staff privileges

Adams v. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (2014) 2014 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 5942 (California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three) [unpublished]. Two years after Cedars-Sinai summarily suspended a physician’s medical staff privileges, he sued Cedars-Sinai for denial of his right to practice medicine. The trial court granted Cedars-Sinai’s anti-SLAPP motion. GMSR represented Cedars-Sinai on appeal, prevailing on all arguments: On the anti-SLAPP’s first prong, the Court of Appeal held that the anti-SLAPP statute encompasses claims arising from discipline imposed through hospital peer review mechanisms, including summary suspensions. In that connection, it further held that a hospital’s medical staff may lawfully designate an individual physician to consider and impose summary suspension. On the second prong, the court held that the physician could not establish a probability that he would prevail on his claims because he failed to exhaust administrative remedies, a failure not excused by the hospital’s decision to lift his suspension a year after imposing it.