Baker & McKenzie Secures Appellate Victory Against FTC for Healthcare Provider, Clearing Path for Transaction
14 December 2011
Washington DC, 14 December 2011 -- In a victory for a healthcare industry client, a U.S. federal appeals court on December 9 dismissed a Federal Trade Commission action against the client that blocked a key transaction from proceeding.
The decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirms a lower court’s dismissal of the FTC’s action and allows Firm client Phoebe Putney Health System to proceed in adding Palmyra Park Hospital in Albany, GA to its operations.
Partner Lee Van Voorhis was lead counsel to Phoebe Putney Health System and Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in the matter. According to Mr. Van Voorhis, the ruling is a blow to the FTC’s desire to narrow the “state-action immunity doctrine,” based on the 1943 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Parker v. Brown, which held that the Sherman Act did not subject states to liability for anticompetitive conduct within their jurisdiction.
“The FTC was attempting to create a new exception to state action immunity, but the 11th Circuit declined,” said Mr. Van Voorhis. “We are very pleased to assist our clients in removing the FTC’s obstacle and allowing this transaction to proceed.”
Mr. Van Voorhis argued the case at the district court level, and led the briefing for the Phoebe Putney entities before the 11th Circuit. Rounding out the Firm’s team on this matter was Associate Teisha Johnson. Mr. Van Voorhis’ prior firm Weil Gotshal was co-counsel in the matter. The Hospital Authority was represented by Atlanta firm Bondurant Mixson & Elmore, led by attorneys Emmet Bondurant and Frank Lowrey.
News of the court’s decision was covered by Modern Healthcare, AmLaw Litigation Daily, Law360 and Global Competition Review.