Texarkana Behavioral Associates, L.C. v. Universal Health Services, Inc.

Filing 149

ORDER denying Defendant's 137 Motion for Attorney Fees as set forth. Signed by Honorable Harry F. Barnes on May 12, 2011. (mfr)

Download PDF
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS TEXARKANA DIVISION TEXARKANA BEHAVIORAL ASSOCIATES, L.C., a wholly owned subsidiary of NEW BOSTON ENTERPRISES, INC. V. PLAINTIFF CASE NO. 08-CV-4031 UNIVERSAL HEALTH SERVICES, INC. DEFENDANT ORDER Before the Court is Defendant’s Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Costs. (Doc. 137). Plaintiff has responded to the motion. (Doc. 139). Defendant has filed a reply. (Doc. 148). The Court finds the matter ripe for consideration. The applicable Arkansas statute states that a prevailing party in a contract suit “may be allowed a reasonable attorney’s fee to be assessed by the court.” Ark. Code Ann. § 16-22-308. The statute provides the Court with the discretion to award fees. Angelo Iafrate Const., LLC v. Potashnick Constr., Inc., 370 F.3d 715, 723 (8th Cir. 2004). In other words, no award of fees is mandatory. Id. Defendant is the prevailing party in this case. In support of its assertion that it should be awarded attorneys’ fees, Defendant states that this case is primarily a breach of contract case and that it spent a considerable amount of time and resources defending this matter. However, the Court notes that Plaintiff asserted two other claims in this case along with the breach of contract claim: (1) misappropriation of trade secrets and (2) tortious interference with a contractual relationship. The Court notes that when an action asserts a contract claim in addition to other bases of recovery, statutory attorneys’ fees may be awarded when the action is based primarily in contract. Jiles v. Union Planters Bank, 90 Ark. App. 245, 247, 205 S.W.3d 187, 189 (2005). However, this case sounds in both tort and contract, and the Court is not convinced that the action is based primarily in contract. Even if the case was primarily a contract case, the Court would be hesitant to award attorneys’ fees in this particular matter. Accordingly, the Court declines to award attorneys’ fees to Defendant in this case. IT IS SO ORDERED, this 12th day of May, 2011. /s/ Harry F. Barnes Hon. Harry F. Barnes United States District Judge 2

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?