The plaintiff is an Indian native and a cardiologist. The defendant hospital granted him privileges in 2001. During his 2008 renewal, Dr. Sambasivan began to suspect he was being treated differently regarding pay for call coverage. He filed suit in June 2008. In August 2008 the hospital board of directors adopted and retroactively applied new volume-based proficiency standards ?for cardiologist that rendered Dr. Sambasivan alone ineligible for privileges renewal.
In 2009 Dr. Sambasivan amended his complaint to allege ?retaliation? under ?section? 1981 ?and ?the WLAD and dropped his original discrimination claim. In 2010 the hospital successfully moved for summary judgment on the basis there was no evidence of retaliation. The court of appeals reversed. The employer moved again for summary judgment, this time on the ground that Dr. Sambasivan could not identify a contract or relationship that was interfered with. The superior court again granted summary judgment. The court of appeals again reversed. The? appellate? court ?rejected ?the? plaintiff?s argument ?that ??law ?of ?the? case?? prevented ?the filing of a second summary judgment on a new ground. On the merits, the court held that section 1981 allows a physician to bring a claim for denial of privileges or credentialing. The court also held that the law protected his right to serve patients at the hospital where he has privileges.
The court rejected the employer?s argument that the WLAD ant-retaliation provision is limited to employers? and? independent? contractors? in personal ?services ?cases. ?The? statute? prohibits ?any person? from retaliating. Prior court of appeals law refused to apply the prohibition to a co-worker?s retaliation. Here the court ruled that the relationship between the hospital and the physician was sufficiently similar to employment or independent contractor relationship for the prohibition to apply.
Sambavisan v. Kadlec Medica Center, — Wn. App. —, 338 P.3d 860 (Div III. 11/18/2014) (Siddoway, Korsmo, Fearing)