United States of America et al v. Vaughan Regional Medical Center, LLC
ORDER DISMISSING PARTIES WITH PREJUDICE as to Integrity Emergency Care, Inc., Phillip A. Hicks, M.D. and Sai M. Namburu, M.D. as set out. Signed by District Judge Terry F. Moorer on 10/08/2019. (srd)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ex rel.,
SAMUEL C. CLEMMONS,
VAUGHAN REGIONAL MEDICAL
CENTER, LLC; LIFEPOINT HOSPITALS, )
INC.; INTEGRITY EMERGENCY
CARE, INC.; PHILLIP A. HICKS, M.D.;
And SAI NAMBURU, M.D.
CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:14-cv-416-TFM-C
Pending before the Court are the United States’ (1) Stipulation of Dismissal (Doc. 46, filed
9/11/19), in which the United States and the Relator stipulate to dismissal with prejudice of all
claims brought in this qui tam case against Defendants Integrity Emergency Care, Inc., and Phillip
A. Hicks, M.D., pursuant to the terms of a settlement agreement executed on August 30, 2019, and
(2) a Stipulation of Dismissal (Doc. 48, filed 9/24/19), in which the United States and the Relator
stipulate to dismissal with prejudice of all claims brought in this case against Defendant Sai S.
Namburu, M.D., pursuant to the terms of a separate settlement agreement executed on August 30,
The Plaintiffs have filed their stipulations under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
41(a)(1)(A), which states, in relevant part, that the “plaintiff may dismiss an action without a court
order by filing: (i) a notice of dismissal before the opposing party serves either an answer or a
motion for summary judgment; or (ii) a stipulation of dismissal signed by all parties who have
appeared.” FED. R. CIV. P. 41(a)(1)(A). Here, the three defendants at issue have not filed an
Page 1 of 3
answer or motion for summary judgment, or even appeared on the docket. Moreover, the United
States and the Relator state that they have reached an agreement that fully settles the claims and
issues between the parties, including any potential claims by Relator for a share of the settlement
proceeds and payment of reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.
Rule 41(a)(2) provides that “an action may be dismissed at plaintiff’s request … by court
order, on terms that the court considers proper.” FED. R. CIV. P. 41(a)(2). The parties state that
dismissal by stipulation is appropriate in this particular case because it does not fall under either
specified situation in the False Claims Act which expressly require Court approval. See 31 U.S.C.
§§ 3730(b)(1), (c)(2)(B). The Court agrees that the statute does not appear to require its approval
where, as here, the United States has intervened and both the United States and the Relator support
the settlement agreement reached with the defendants.
Although the Eleventh Circuit has construed Rule 41(a)(2) to permit the Court to dismiss
claims against a particular defendant, it is less clear whether such dismissal is permitted under
Rule 41(a)(1)(A) where, as here, the stipulation of dismissal does not involve all parties.1 See Klay
v. United Healthgroup, Inc., 376 F.3d 1092, 1106 (11th Cir. 2004) (stating that, although dismissal
of certain claims against a defendant is not permitted under Rule 41, the rule generally “allows a
plaintiff to dismiss all of his claims against a particular defendant . . . .”); see also Plain Growers,
Inc. ex rel. Florists’ Mut. Ins. Co. v. Ickes-Braun Glasshouses, Inc., 474 F.2d 250, 254 (5th Cir.
The Court notes that the United States has filed stipulations of dismissal as to all five (5)
defendants. See Docs. 46, 48, 50. However, the stipulations were filed piecemeal, and the parties
concede in their stipulation as to Defendants Vaughan Regional Medical Center, LLC., and
LifePoint Health, Inc. (formerly LifePoint Hospitals, Inc.) (Doc. 50), that settlement negotiations
are ongoing between the parties regarding payment of Relator’s attorneys’ fees, expenses, and
costs. Accordingly, litigation as to those parties is not yet concluded and that stipulation is not
being considered here.
Page 2 of 3
1973) (“There is little merit in the argument that the court could not dismiss the action as to less
than all defendants upon motion [under (a)(2)] . . . .”).2
Nevertheless, whether viewed under Rule 41(a)(1)(A) or Rule 41(a)(2), this action is
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as to Integrity Emergency Care, Inc., Phillip A. Hicks, M.D.,
and Sai M. Namburu, M.D.
Consistent with the settlement agreements, this Court retains
jurisdiction over any disputes that may arise regarding the parties’ compliance with the
DONE and ORDERED this 8th day of October 2019.
/s/ Terry F. Moorer
TERRY F. MOORER
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Bonner v. City of Prichard, Ala., 661 F.2d 1206, 1209 (11th Cir. 1981) (en banc) (adopting as
binding precedent all of the decisions of the former Fifth Circuit handed down prior to the close
of business on September 30, 1981).
Page 3 of 3
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?