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Role v. Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

February 15, 2008

ELOY A. ROLE, PRO SE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHNS HOPKINS BAYVIEW MEDICAL CENTER AND LOCAL 485 HEALTH AND WELFARE FUND, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dora L. Irizarry, United States District Judge

ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

Plaintiff Eloy A. Role ("Plaintiff") initiated this action against defendants Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center ("Johns Hopkins") and Local 485 Health and Welfare Fund (the "Fund"--together with Johns Hopkins, "Defendants") alleging that Defendants unlawfully denied him medical coverage and medical treatment in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. § 1132, and the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act ("EMTALA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1395dd, respectively. Johns Hopkins moved to dismiss pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(1), 12(b)(2), 12(b)(3), and 12(b)(6). The Fund moved for summary judgment pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 56 and further requested, pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 37(b)(2), that the court dismiss the instant action due to Plaintiff's failure to comply with court orders.

The court referred the various motions to United States Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom. Judge Bloom issued a Report and Recommendation dated October 9, 2007 ("Recommendation") recommending that the court grant Johns Hopkins' motion to dismiss and the Fund's motion for summary judgment.*fn1 Plaintiff filed timely objections to the Recommendation on October 24, 2007. Defendants did not file a response to Plaintiff's objections.

For the reasons set forth below, the court adopts the Recommendation in part and modifies it only to the extent that this court considers, and rejects, Plaintiff's breach of fiduciary duty claim against Johns Hopkins. Accordingly, Johns Hopkins' motion to dismiss is granted, and the Fund's motion for summary judgment is also granted.*fn2

I. Discussion

A. Standard of Review

When reviewing a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, a district judge must review de novo those parts of the report and recommendation to which any party objects. See FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b). The district court may then "accept, reject, or modify the recommended decision, receive further evidence, or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions." FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b);28 U.S.C. § 636(b); see also United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 673-76 (1980).

B. Johns Hopkins

1. Personal Jurisdiction

Plaintiff objects to Judge Bloom's determination that the court does not have personal jurisdiction over Johns Hopkins in the instant matter. Plaintiff concedes that New York's long-arm statute applies to his case, yet he also appears to argue that New Jersey's long-arm statute applies as well. Pursuant to this latter theme, Plaintiff alleges and emphasizes numerous contacts that Johns Hopkins engaged in with Plaintiff, allegedly a citizen of New Jersey.*fn3

New York's--and not New Jersey's--long-arm statute is applicable here. Biofeedtrac, Inc. v. Kolinor Optical Enters. & Consultants, S.R.L., 817 F. Supp. 326, 331 (E.D.N.Y. 1993) ("a federal court normally looks either to a federal statute or to the long-arm statute of the State in which it sits to determine whether a defendant is amenable to service, a prerequisite to its exercise of personal jurisdiction") (quoting Omni Capital Int'l, Ltd. v. Rudolf Wolff & Co., Ltd., 484 U.S. 97, 105 (1987)). It is abundantly clear that Johns Hopkins' contacts with New Jersey are irrelevant to the determination of whether this court sitting in New York has personal jurisdiction over Johns Hopkins in this matter. See N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 302.

Plaintiff does mention, in passing, contacts that Johns Hopkins allegedly had with the state of New York. He states that Johns Hopkins communicated with the Fund via telephone on at least two occasions to discuss Plaintiff's insurance coverage and eligibility. Telephone calls of this nature are insufficient to establish minimum contacts with New York so as to justify this court's exercise of jurisdiction over Johns Hopkins. See Metro. Life Ins. Co. v. Robertson-Ceco Corp., 84 F.3d 560, 567 (2d Cir. 1996). Accordingly, the court does not have personal jurisdiction over Johns Hopkins, and Plaintiff's objections in this regard are overruled.

2. EMTALA

Plaintiff further objects to Judge Bloom's determination that, in any event, Plaintiff has failed to state a claim against Johns Hopkins because he did not present himself to the emergency room of a hospital seeking treatment for an emergency medical condition, as required under EMTALA. Recommendation 13. This court has already determined that it lacks personal jurisdiction over Johns Hopkins. However, even if the court were able to exercise such jurisdiction, ...


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