The United States of America et al v. Delta Regional Medical Center
ORDER Requiring Government's Response. Signed by Senior Judge Glen H. Davidson on 9/25/18. (tab)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
UNITED STATES ex rei.
Civil No.4: 17-cv-00053-GHD-RP
DELTA REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
ORDER REQUIRING GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSE
Relator Candi Sibley brings a qui tam False Claims Act action against Delta Regional
Medical Center premised on violations of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor
Act. See 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b). Within 60 days ofa qui tam action being filed, the United States
government has the ability to elect to intervene and conduct the case itself as a matter of right. Id.
§ 3730(b)(2). The United States further retains the right to intervene upon a showing ofgood cause.
Id. § 3730(c)(3). Finally, even when the United States does not intervene, it "retains the unilateral
power to dismiss an action 'notwithstanding the objections of the person." Riley v. St. Luke's
Episcopal Hasp., 252 F.3d 749, 753 (5th Cir. 2001) (en banc) (citing Searcy v. Philips Electronics
N Am. Corp., et al., 117 F.3d 154 (5th Cir. I 997)(citing 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(2)(A))).
The United States has, so far, declined to intervene in this matter. See Notice of Election
to Decline Intervention . Pursuant to § 3730(b), the government requested that this Court
"solicit the written consent of the United States before" dismissing or discontinuing this action in
any way. Notice of Election at I; 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b) ("The action may be dismissed only if the
court and the Attorney General give written consent to the dismissal and their reasons for
The Court has pending before it a motion by DRMC to dismiss this action . The merits
of the motion rest on an issue of first impression: Can EMTALA violations form the basis of a
False Claims Act case?
A similar action, and a motion to dismissed premised on the same question, is currently
pending in the Southern District of Mississippi. United States ex rei. W Blake Vanderlan, v.
Jackson HMA, LLC, No. 3:15-cv-00767-DPJ-FKB. 1 The Court ordered the parties, including the
United States, to provide an update on their positions. In response, the United States said:
The United States is currently in the process of evaluating whether
to file a statement of interest or to seek dismissal of this case
pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(2)(A). Because the issues raised
here impact not just this matter but similar matters in other districts,
the United States wants to ensure that its anticipated filing is
consistent with its position in other court districts. This process
involves coordination with, and the approval of, Department of
Justice officials in Washington, D.C.
Response to Order at 1, United States ex rei. W Blake Vanderlan, v. Jackson HMA, LLC, No. 3:15
cv-00767-DPJ-FKB (September 5, 2018) ECF No. 73.
Given the open question of law presented in this case, the Court finds it prudent to ask the
position of the United States in this matter. Accordingly, the Court ORDERS that within 40 days,
the United States shall inform the Court whether it intends to seek dismissal under 31 U.S.c. §
3730(c)(2)(A) or file a statement of interest in this matter.
SO ORDERED, this the
I As with the case before this Court, the United States initially elected not to intervene. See Notice of
Election to Decline Intervention by United States, United States ex rei. W. Blake Vanderlan, v. Jackson
HMA, LLC, No. 3: 15-cv-00767-DPJ-FKB (August 31, 2017) ECF No. 23.
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