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United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
January 22, 2021, Decided; January 22, 2021, Filed
[*1307] PER CURIAM:
Appellant presents a single issue in this appeal: whether the Hospital-Defendants' delay in transferring a patient constitutes a violation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (the "Act"). The district court dismissed Appellant's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). With the benefit of oral argument, and after careful review, we affirm.
Appellant brought his minor child, MS, to the emergency room of the Crisp Regional Hospital ("Hospital") at around 9:00 p.m. with symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis ("DKA"). Around 10:30 p.m., Appellant signed the transfer paperwork for MS to be transferred to the Medical Center [**2] of Central Georgia, Children's Hospital in Macon, Georgia, which is about an hour's drive away from the Hospital. At around 2:30 a.m., MS was transported by ambulance to the Children's Hospital, arriving about 3:25 a.m.
Appellant's amended complaint alleged, inter alia, that Crisp Regional Hospital violated the Act by delaying the transfer of MS. He alleged that the delay caused permanent nerve damage to the eyes of MS. The Hospital moved to dismiss the amended complaint on the basis that Appellant had failed to state a claim under the Act, and the district court issued an order dismissing the amended complaint and declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the Appellant's state law claims. ] We review the district court's dismissal of Appellant's amended complaint de novo. Ray v. Spirit Airlines, Inc., 836 F.3d 1340, 1347 (11th Cir. 2016)
MS's nerve damage is deeply regrettable. But Appellant's remedy does not lie in the Act. ] The Act was enacted to prevent "patient dumping," which is the "practice of some hospitals turning away or transferring indigent patients without [*1308] evaluation or treatment." Harry v. Marchant, 291 F.3d 767, 768 (11th Cir. 2002) (en banc). The Act subjects covered hospitals to two principal obligations. First, when an individual presents at a covered hospital emergency room, [**3] the Act imposes upon the hospital an obligation to provide appropriate medical screening. Id. "As long as a hospital applies the same screening procedures to indigent patients which it applies to paying patients, the hospital does not violate this section of the Act." Holcomb v. Monahan, 30 F.3d 116, 117 (11th Cir. 1994) (referring to the medical screening requirement set out in 42 U.S.C. § 1395dd(a)).1
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985 F.3d 1306 *; 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 1791 **; 28 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. C 2361; 2021 WL 219193
MICHAEL SMITH, as next friend of MS, Plaintiff-Appellant, versus CRISP REGIONAL HOSPITAL, INC., CRISP REGIONAL HEALTH SERVICES, INC., et al, Defendants-Appellees.
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. D.C. Docket No. 1:18-cv-00108-LAG.
transferring, patients, malpractice, The Act, amended complaint, screening, medical screening, district court, en banc, redress, violation of the act, negligent diagnosis, unreasonable delay, method of payment, time restriction, emergency room, oral argument, nerve damage, patient care, tort remedy, transportation, stabilization, indigent, inquire
Civil Procedure, Dismissal, Involuntary Dismissals, Appellate Review, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Healthcare Law, Actions Against Facilities, Emergency Care Negligence, Defenses, Patient Anti-Dumping Act, Medical Treatment, Failures & Refusals to Treat, Appellate Briefs, Reviewability of Lower Court Decisions, Preservation for Review, Pleading & Practice, Motion Practice, Content & Form, Facility Liability, Hospitals, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation