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ANGELICO v. LEHIGH VALLEY HOSP.

October 28, 1997

RICHARD J. ANGELICO, M.D.
v.
LEHIGH VALLEY HOSPITAL, INC., ST. LUKE'S HOSPITAL OF BETHLEHEM EASTON HOSPITAL, PANEBIANCO-YIP HEART SURGEONS, BETHLEHEM CARDIOTHORACIC SURGICAL ASSOC., P.C.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOYNER

 JOYNER, J.

 October 28, 1997

 By way of their joint motion for summary judgment, Defendants seek the entry of judgment in their favor as a matter of law on plaintiff's antitrust claims and request that this Court decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction and dismiss plaintiff's remaining state law claims. For the reasons which follow, defendants' motion shall be granted.

 Plaintiff is a cardiothoracic surgeon who practiced in the Lehigh Valley *fn1" from 1986 until he resigned his privileges *fn2" at St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem, PA on March 5, 1994. (Dep. of Richard J. Angelico, M.D., dated 8/8/96, 21-22, 104).

 By his complaint, plaintiff contends that defendants Lehigh Valley Hospital ("LVH"), St. Luke's Hospital ("SLH"), Panebianco- Yip ("PB-Y") and Bethlehem Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates ("BCSA") collectively had a sufficient share of the coronary artery bypass graft surgical market in the greater Lehigh Valley (an average of 78% in 1992 and 1993) to control it and that they conspired to eliminate plaintiff as a competitor "through various predatory acts." (Complaint, Ps 13, 27-31). These "predatory acts" consisted of, inter alia, the alleged circulation between defendants of allegedly defamatory and derogatory remarks concerning plaintiff's interpersonal and patient care skills and, in the case of St. Luke's, willfully failing to provide plaintiff with competent medical and clinical support for his patients thereby allegedly coercing him to resign his staff privileges. (Complaint, Ps 33-41, 45-46, 51, 54).

 Following his resignation from St. Luke's, *fn3" Dr. Angelico contends the alleged conspiracy continued with the result that his courtesy privileges at LVH were improperly terminated for failure to pay staff dues in a timely fashion and that defendants' effectively "blackballed" him from all three defendant hospitals by denying and causing the denial of his applications for privileges at Easton Hospital and to reinstate his privileges at Lehigh Valley and St. Luke's. (Pl.'s Dep., 138).

 As a result of these activities, plaintiff has been unable to secure privileges at any of the defendant hospitals. (Complaint, Ps 56-81, 93). Plaintiff submits that defendants thus engaged in a group boycott and exclusive dealing in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1 and that defendants have a completely dominating monopoly share of the market in violation of the Sherman Act, § 2. Plaintiff thus seeks trebled damages under § 4 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 15.

 By orders dated July 17 and August 16, 1996, the Court approved and adopted the parties' stipulations for entry of a case management order limiting the first phase of discovery in this case to the issues of antitrust standing and injury. Under those orders, once the parties had completed discovery on these issues, the court would entertain summary judgment motions, with discovery on all other issues to remain stayed until a ruling could be issued on any such motions filed. Defendants thereafter filed their joint motion for summary judgment on February 26, 1997 in which they (naturally) assert that as plaintiff lacks the standing necessary to pursue his antitrust claims, this case should be dismissed in its entirety.

 STANDARDS APPLICABLE TO SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTIONS

 The legal standards to be followed by the district courts in resolving motions for summary judgment are outlined in Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. Subsection (c) of that rule states, in pertinent part, ... The judgment sought shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. A summary judgment, interlocutory in character, may be rendered on the issue of liability alone although there is a genuine issue as to the amount of damages.

 Under this Rule, the court is required to look beyond the bare allegations of the pleadings to determine if they have sufficient factual support to warrant their consideration at trial. Liberty Lobby, Inc. v. Dow Jones & Co., 267 U.S. App. D.C. 337, 838 F.2d 1287 (D.C. Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 825, 109 S. Ct. 75, 102 L. Ed. 2d 51 (1988). See Also : Aries Realty, Inc. v. AGS Columbia Associates, 751 F. Supp. 444 (S.D. N.Y. 1990). The party seeking summary judgment always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion and identifying those portions of the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and ad- missions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 106 S. Ct. 2548, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265 (1986).

 In considering a summary judgment motion, the court must view the facts in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion and all reasonable inferences from the facts must be drawn in favor of that party as well. U.S. v. Kensington Hospital, 760 F. Supp. 1120 (E.D. Pa. 1991); Schillachi v. Flying Dutchman Motorcycle Club, 751 F. Supp. 1169 (E.D. Pa. 1990). When, however, "a motion for summary judgment is made and supported [by affidavits or otherwise], an adverse party may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of the adverse party's pleading, but the adverse party's response...must set forth specific facts showing that ...


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