*fn10,The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reggie B. Walton United States District Judge,EDITH M. BUDIK, PLAINTIFF, v. DARTMOUTH-HITCHCOK MEDICAL CENTER, ET AL., DEFENDANTS." />

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Budik v. Dartmouth-Hitchcok Med. Ctr.

United States District Court, District of Columbia

April 5, 2013

EDITH M. BUDIK, Plaintiff,

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EDITH M. BUDIK, Plaintiff, Pro se, APO, AE.


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REGGIE B. WALTON, United States District Judge.

This case, in which the pro se plaintiff, Edith Budik, filed a complaint against the defendants, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (" Dartmouth-Hitchcock" ) and retired Colonel (" Col." ) Steven M. Princiotta, M.D., alleging violations of certain Army regulations, the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a) (2006), misrepresentation, fraud, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, is currently before the Court on Defendant Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center's Motion To Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction (" Dartmouth-Hitchcock Mot." ), and Col. Princiotta's and the United States' Defendants' Motion to Substitute the United

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States and Dismiss (" Princiotta Mot." ). For the reasons explained below, the defendants' motions will be granted. [1]


The plaintiff asserts the following allegations in support of her claims against the defendants. This dispute arises out the plaintiff's application for employment as a neuroradiologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in New Hampshire. Compl. ¶ ¶ 1, 10. " On . . . [April 10, 2008], Lauren Krebs of American Medical Recruiters [2] . . . informed [the p]laintiff, of several neuroradiology positions, one of which was at [Dartmouth-Hitchcock]." Id. ¶ 10. After obtaining the plaintiff's permission to do so, Ms. Krebs forwarded the plaintiff's curriculum vitae to Dartmouth-Hitchcock for review. Id. Although the plaintiff did not want to apply for a full time position, Dr. Laurence Cromwell, a radiologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, subsequently reached out to the plaintiff about her application and encouraged her to apply for a " locum tenens" position. [3] Id. ¶ 12. The plaintiff agreed to Dr. Cromwell's proposition. Id. " On . . . [May 8, 2008], in accordance with the customary requirement of the New Hampshire Board of Medicine . . . that institutions inform them of the name of [a] locum tenens physician and the dates he/she will be practicing, . . . [Dartmouth-Hitchcock] submitted a letter to" the New Hampshire Board of Medicine regarding the plaintiff. Id. ¶ 13. The plaintiff also submitted an application to the New Hampshire Board of Medicine for a locum tenens license, and her application was granted. Id.

On May 11, 2008, the plaintiff submitted her completed " [Dartmouth-Hitchcock] Pre-Employment Application." Id. ¶ 14. In completing the Pre-Employment Application, the " [p]laintiff was honest and truthful in answering all questions to the best of her knowledge and belief." Id. Thereafter, the " [p]laintiff received the New Hampshire Uniform Credentialing Application." Id. ¶ 15. The " instructions for [the] application for credentialing" read, in part, as follows:

During the credentialing process[,] the Office of Clinical Affairs will contact you either via phone or in writing of any discrepancies or questions that may arise. You will be given the opportunity to correct, explain and/or revise any erroneous

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information prior to the completion of the credentialing process for your application.

Id. ¶ 25.

During the course of a " 3-day site visit with [Dartmouth-Hitchcock], which the plaintiff attended " at the request of Dr. Cromwell," the plaintiff, " as specified in the credentialing application instructions[,] . . . took advantage of" the opportunity " to discuss two old incidents that [the p]laintiff was unsure of how to address on the Uniform Credentialing application with their credentialing specialist, [Michelle Scearbo]." Id. ¶ ¶ 16-17. According to the plaintiff, " [t]hese incidents involved two erroneous reports, namely incidents from 23 . . . and 32 . . . years in the past that appeared on the Federation Credentialing Verification Service report." [4] Id. ¶ 17. " The credentialing specialist uttered her doubts about the relevancy of these incidents and . . . explain[ed] to [the p]laintiff that they had a 'last-5-year verification rule' reach-back for evaluating the credentials of locum tenens applicants." Id. The plaintiff " completed the [credentialing application] in the office of the credentialing specialist and handed it along with her [curriculum vitae] to the specialist." Id. ¶ 18. The plaintiff answered the questions " honest[ly] and truthful[ly] . . . to the best of her knowledge and belief, and the specialist acknowledged the negative information that the [p]laintiff provided to her from the [Federation Credentialing Verification Service] report." Id.

" At the completion of her interviews, Dr. Cromwell once again broached the topic of [the p]laintiff taking on a permanent position with [Dartmouth-Hitchcock], and it was at this time that [the p]laintiff decided to apply for a permanent license that could run in tandem [with] the locum tenens" license for which she had already applied. Id. ¶ 19. After the plaintiff agreed to apply for the permanent position, she subsequently " sent a letter to [the New Hampshire Board of Medicine] to apprise them of the erroneous information on the [Federation Credentialing Verification Service] report, as [the Board] would not be receiving the . . . report until such time as [the p]laintiff [had] submit[ted] an application for a permanent position." [5] Id. ¶ 20. The plaintiff " made herself available to speak to Board members" about the report, and also " spoke with Ms. Scearbo regarding the letter that [the plaintiff] sent to [the Board] and furnished her a copy of the letter at her request." Id. The " New Hampshire Board of Medicine granted [the p]laintiff a locum tenens license without further explanation other than submission of this letter." Id.

According to the plaintiff, she was required to provide more documents than other applicants during the credentialing process. Id. ¶ 21. Additionally, Ms. Scearbo " carefully scrutinized [the p]laintiff's Master Degree, a degree that was not relevant to the position being applied for, stating: 'That seems like a long time for a master['s] program.'" Id.

During the course of the credentialing process, " [Col.] Princiotta, the then Deputy Commander for Clinical Services . .., and Chair of the Credentialing Committee at Landstuhl Regional Army Medical Center . . . [,] published a negative statement"

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from a prior performance evaluation " to [Dartmouth-Hitchcock] without [the p]laintiff's knowledge." Id. ¶ 22. The statement reads: " Colonel Budik had some problems with staff interactions which resulted in several complaints and clinicians going to other radiologists instead." [6] Pl.'s Princiotta Opp'n at 1-2. The plaintiff was not provided with a copy of the statement, nor was her consent obtained prior to publication of the statement. Compl. ¶ 22. " Dr. Princiotta reported to [Dartmouth-Hitchcock] that this statement was substantiated by 'documents[,'] but no substantiating documents were ever provided, or found during a subsequent thorough [Freedom of Information Act] officer investigation." Id.

" Dartmouth-Hitchcock subsequently confirmed that [it] stopped the credentialing process on the same day [it] received the negative rating from [Col.] Princiotta," id. ¶ 23, but also that " Dartmouth-Hitchcock did not use the negative rating from [Col.] Princiotta as a basis for the[] decision," id. ¶ 25. The " [p]laintiff called Lauren Krebs of the [American Medical Recruiters,] who informed her that [Dartmouth-Hitchcock] had stopped the credentialing process, that [Dartmouth-Hitchcock] told her that [the p]laintiff was not granted a locum tenens license . .., and that they were going to remain silent vis-à-vis [the p]laintiff." Id. ¶ 24. " bye letter dated [July 23, 2008,] . . . following [the p]laintiff's 'repeated requests' for answers, [Dartmouth-Hitchcock] finally replied to [the p]laintiff . . . [and] stated that [it] had based the[] decision on th[e] remote incidents that had taken place 23 and 32 years beforehand." Id. ΒΆ 25. According to the plaintiff, " [n]o other institution, before, during[,] or after [Dartmouth-Hitchcock], had ...

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