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Rodas v. Swedish Amer Corp - FTCA Med Mal Derivative Jdx 8-31-11

Rodas v. Swedish Amer Corp - FTCA Med Mal Derivative Jdx 8-31-11

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Published by Eric H. Bronner

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: Eric H. Bronner on Oct 20, 2011
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05/24/2012

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In the
United States Court of Appeals
 For the Seventh Circuit
 
No. 09-3760G
LORIA
L.
 
R
ODAS
 ,
Plaintiff-Appellant,v.
 J
OHN
S
EIDLIN
 ,
 
M.D.,
 
et al
.,
Defendants-Appellees.
 
Appeal from the United States District Courtfor the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division.No. 3:05-cv-50105
 — 
Frederick J. Kapala
 ,
 Judge
.
 
A
RGUED
J
UNE
10,
 
2011
 — 
D
ECIDED
A
UGUST
31,
 
2011
 Before
 
B
AUER
 ,
 
F
LAUM
and
 
W
ILLIAMS
 ,
Circuit Judges.
F
LAUM
 ,
Circuit Judge
. Gloria Rodas’s appeal presentsan important question about the meaning of a provisionof the Illinois Good Samaritan Act, 745 ILCS 49/1
et seq.
 ,in a case that was removed to federal court underthe federal officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1442. Thestate-law question is whether and under what circum-stances the protections of the Good Samaritan Act turnon the business model physicians use to charge patients
 
2No. 09-3760for emergency services. The law shields from liabilityphysicians who render certain services “without fee.”Rodas was charged a fee for the services she received, buttwo of Rodas’s physicians were not paid from that fee.Instead, they received a salary from their medical prac-tice. The district court agreed with the defendants thatthe salary-versus-fee distinction cloaked the physicianswith statutory immunity. Rodas appeals.The United States, a party to the underlying action butnot to this appeal, has filed a brief as
amicus curiae
urging that we lack jurisdiction. The argument is thatthe doctrine of derivative jurisdiction created a latent jurisdictional defect that persists on appeal. The doctrineprovides that a federal court acquires no jurisdictionupon removal where the state court lacked jurisdictionover the subject matter or the parties. That principle,the government maintains, robbed the district courtof subject matter jurisdiction and deprives us of appel-late jurisdiction.We disagree with both the government’s positionabout our jurisdiction and the defendants’ interpretationof the Illinois statute. As to jurisdiction, we join everyother circuit to have considered the question and holdthat the doctrine of derivative jurisdiction is cabined bythe principles announced in
Grubbs v. Gen. Elec. CreditCorp.
 , 405 U.S. 699 (1972), and
Caterpillar Inc. v. Lewis,
519U.S. 61 (1996). As to the merits, we conclude that thedefendants’ interpretation of the Good Samaritan Act isinconsistent with the plain language of the statute andthe case law interpreting it. Therefore, we reverse the
 
No. 09-37603 judgment of the district court and remand for furtherproceedings.
I. Background
In 2001, Gloria Rodas had been receiving prenatal careat the Crusaders Central Clinic Association (“CrusaderClinic”) in Rockford, Illinois. The Crusader Clinic is acommunity health center and recipient of federal fundsunder 42 U.S.C. § 254b. Doctor William Baxter was oneof the physicians who provided care; he was a familypractice physician and clinic employee. In a limitedsense, however, Baxter had two masters: because ofthe relationship between the Crusader Clinic and thefederal government, both the clinic and Baxter weredeemed to be employees of the United States for pur-poses of medical malpractice liability.
See
42 U.S.C.§ 233(g)-(n). As a consequence of Baxter and theCrusader Clinic’s (deemed) federal status, the UnitedStates could be substituted as a party if either wereever sued. 28 U.S.C. 2679(d)(1). Claims against themwould be governed by the Federal Tort Claims Act, andneither would face liability.
See
28 U.S.C. § 2679(b)(1);
Osborn v. Haley
 , 549 U.S. 225, 229-30 (2007) (explainingthe statutory interplay that produces this result). Thestatutory scheme is designed to allow certain healthcare providers serving underserved populations to savemoney on malpractice insurance and direct fundstoward patient care.
See
H. R. Rep. No. 104-398, at 6 (1995).Baxter was not the only physician providing care toRodas and other Crusader Clinic patients. For medically

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