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Rodriguez v. Krancer

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

October 23, 2013

DR. ALFONSO RODRIGUEZ, M.D., Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL L. KRANCER, in his official capacity as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, ROBERT F. POWELSON, in his official capacity as Chairman of the Public Utility Commission, and LINDA L. KELLY, in her official capacity as Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Defendants

For Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez, M.D., Plaintiff: Paul Anthony Rossi, LEAD ATTORNEY, Kennett Square, PA.

For Michael L. Krancer, in his official capacity as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Defendant: Joshua John Voss, Conrad O'Brien PC, Harrisburg, PA; Mark E. Seiberling, Conrad O'Brien Gellman & Rohn, P.C., Philadelphia, PA; Matthew H. Haverstick, Conrad O'Brien, Philadelphia, PA.

For Linda L. Kelly, in her official capacity as Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Defendant: Howard G. Hopkirk, Office of Attorney General-Litigation Section, Harrisburg, PA.

For Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Healthy Energy, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Amici: Jordan B. Yeager, Curtin & Heefner LLP, Doylestown, PA.

OPINION

Page 357

MEMORANDUM

A. Richard Caputo, United States District Judge.

Presently before the Court are Motions to Dismiss filed by Defendant Linda L. Kelly [1] (Doc. 10) and Defendants Michael L. Krancer and Robert F. POWLESON (Doc. 21). Because Plaintiff Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez, M.D. (" Plaintiff" ) lacks standing to bring this case, both Motions to Dismiss will be granted under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1).

BACKGROUND

The facts as alleged by Plaintiff in his Complaint (Doc. 1) are as follows:

Plaintiff is a nephrologist, a physician specializing in the treatment of renal diseases, hypertension, and advanced diabetes, who practices and resides in Dallas, PA. (Doc. 1, ¶ ¶ 15, 33.) Plaintiff directs several hemodialysis units, which treat and purify blood by removing toxins. (Doc. 1, ¶ 36.) Plaintiff has treated patients " directly exposed to high-volume hydraulic fracturing fluid as the result of well blowouts, including a patient exposed to hydraulic fracturing fluid who was admitted to the hospital with a complicated diagnosis of low platelets, anemia, rash and acute renal failure tat required extensive hemodialysis and exposure to chemotherapeutic agents." (Doc. 1, ¶ 39.)

Proper diagnosis and treatment of patients whose illness or medical condition results from contact with environmental contaminants requires information regarding any toxic chemicals to which they have been exposed. (Doc. 1, ¶ ¶ 34-35.) This

Page 358

includes knowledge of hydraulic fracturing fluids and waste products derived from natural gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing. (Doc. 1, ¶ 38.)

On February 14, 2012, the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enacted Act 13, which amended the Oil and Gas Act. Plaintiff refers to this legislation as the " Medical Gag Act" (" the Act" ), which states in pertinent part that:

If a health professional determines that a medical emergency exists and the specific identity and amount of any chemicals claimed to be a trade secret or confidential proprietary information are necessary for emergency treatment, the vendor, service provider or operator shall immediately disclose the information to the health professional upon a verbal acknowledgment by the health professional that the information may not be used for purposes other than the health needs asserted and that the health professional shall maintain the information as confidential. The vendor, service provider or operator may request, and the health professional shall provide upon request, a written ...

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