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United States ex rel. Akl v. Virginia Hospital Center-Arlington Health System

United States District Court, District of Columbia

September 16, 2013

UNITED STATES ex rel. ZIAD AKL, M.D., Plaintiff,
v.
VIRGINIA HOSPITAL CENTER-ARLINGTON HEALTH SYSTEM, Defendant

For ZIAD AKL, MD, ex rel United States of America, Plaintiff: Michael Alexander Troy, LEAD ATTORNEY, LAW OFFICE OF MICHAEL ALEXANDER TROY, Washington, DC.

For VIRGINIA HOSPITAL CENTER-ARLINGTON HEALTH SYSTEM, Defendant: Karen-Faye McTavish, PILLSBURY WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN, LLP, Washington, DC.

For UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Interested Party: Darrell C. Valdez, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC.

OPINION

Page 197

Emmet G. Sullivan, United States District Court Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Relator-Plaintiff Ziad Akl, M.D., brings a qui tam action against the Virginia Hospital Center-Arlington Health System (" Defendant" or " VHC" or the " Hospital" ) for allegedly filing false cost reports with the United States Government in violation of the False Claims Act (" FCA" ), 31 U.S.C. § 3729. The United States has declined to intervene. See Notice of Election to Decline Intervention. No. 12-cv-3, ECF No. 3. Defendant has moved to dismiss the complaint. Upon consideration of Plaintiff's complaint, Defendant's motion to dismiss, Plaintiff's opposition and Defendant's reply thereto, the relevant case law, and the entire record, the Court hereby GRANTS Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint.

I. BACKGROUND

Dr. Akl is a physician specializing in internal medicine and infectious diseases who is licensed to practice in the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland. Compl. ¶ 6. He practiced medicine at VHC from September 2000, Compl. ¶ 10, to August 3, 2004, [1] when the Hospital revoked his staff appointment, Compl. ¶ 45.

A. Akl I

On November 17, 2004, Dr. Akl filed a complaint against Defendant in a case captioned Akl v. Virginia Hospital Center

Page 198

Arlington Health System et al., Chancery No. 04-722A (" Akl I " ), [2] in the Arlington County Circuit Court of Virginia. Def.'s MTD, Ex. B at 2. Plaintiff alleged, inter alia, that Defendant's termination of his medical staff privileges violated his right to due process, id. at 11-14; that Defendant tortiously interfered with his " contractual relationship or business expectancy with the Hospital and his patients," id. at 15; that Defendant breached its Medical Credentials Policy, id. at 16; and that Defendant defamed him, id. at 17.

On April 22, 2005, the sustained the Hospital's demurrer and dismissed Plaintiff's due process and tortious interference with contract claims with prejudice, and his defamation claim without prejudice. Id. at 21-22. The court overruled the Hospital's demurrer as to Plaintiff's breach of contract claim. Id. Dr. Akl subsequently ...


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