final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit,
St. Lucie County, Janet C. Croom, Judge; L.T. Case No.
Richard H. Levenstein and Abby M. Spears of Kramer, Sopko
& Levenstein, P.A., Stuart, for appellant.
E. Warner, Dean A. Morande and Michael D. Sloan of Carlton
Fields Jorden Burt, P.A., West Palm Beach, for appellee.
J. Webber of Glenn J. Webber, P.A., Stuart, for Amicus Curiae
Association of American Physicians & Surgeons.
K. Thomas of Florida Medical Association, Tallahassee, Jon N.
Ekdahl and Leonard A. Nelson of American Medical Association,
Chicago, IL, for Amicus Curiae American Medical Association.
B. Goldberg and Jason A. Coe of Lash & Goldberg LLP,
Miami for Amicus Curiae 41 Florida Hospital Facilities.
Anil Desai ("Doctor") appeals the circuit
court's order dismissing his lawsuit against Lawnwood
Medical Center ("Hospital") for failure to exhaust
administrative remedies provided in the Hospital's
procedures for challenging board decisions relating to the
medical staff. We conclude that the court correctly dismissed
the Doctor's lawsuit for failure to exhaust
administrative remedies and affirm.
Doctor, a pathologist and member of the Hospital's
medical staff, submitted his application for reappointment as
all medical staff members are required to do every two years.
As required by the "peer review" statute,
applications for reappointment are first considered by the
recredentials committee which makes a recommendation to the
medical executive committee. § 395.0193(2), Fla. Stat.
(2009). The medical executive committee reviews the
recommendation from the recredentials committee and makes its
in favor of reappointment by the medical executive committee
are forwarded to the Hospital's board of trustees which
has final decision-making authority. Lawnwood Med. Ctr.,
Inc. v. Seeger, 990 So.2d 503, 506 (Fla. 2008)
("The Board's bylaws, which were adopted in 1988,
state that the Board has final decision-making authority in
the areas of credentialing . . . after considering the
recommendations of the medical staff.").
against reappointment are not forwarded to the board of
trustees. Instead, if the medical executive committee
recommends against reappointment, the doctor is entitled to
exercise procedural rights provided by the medical staff
bylaws including the right to a hearing and the right to
procedural rights provided in the medical staff bylaws only
apply to a recommendation by the medical executive committee
that reappointment be denied, not a decision by the board of
trustees to deny reappointment. However, Florida
Administrative Code Rule 59A-3.272(4) requires the
"governing body" to "provide a procedure for
hearings and appeals on all actions concerning appointment,
reappointment or dismissal." Therefore, in order to
ensure compliance with its governing regulations, the board
of trustees issued the Board of Trustees' Fair Hearing
and Appellate Review Procedures. ...