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Dabiri v. Federation of States Medical Boards of the United States

March 25, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles P. Sifton (electronically signed) United States District Judge


SIFTON, Senior Judge.

Plaintiff Doctor Luqman Dabiri commenced this action against defendants Federation of States Medical Boards of the United States, Inc. ("FSMB") and the General Medical Council ("GMC") on November 20, 2008. Plaintiff alleges that GMC, a non-profit incorporated in the United Kingdom, deprived him of Due Process when it suspended his medical license without notice of hearing and when it forwarded that suspension information to FSMB for inclusion in reports of plaintiff's medical disciplinary history disseminated in the United States. Plaintiff further alleges that GMC deprived him of income in excess of $200,000 when he became unable to secure employment as a result of GMC's transmission of information about suspension of his license to FSMB. Plaintiff seeks the following remedies pertaining to the results of hearings allegedly held by GMC without notice to plaintiff: a permanent injunction restraining GMC from transmitting results of these hearings to any institution in the United States, an order declaring GMC's findings as to plaintiff resulting from these hearings null and void in the United States, an order restraining FSMB from including information from GMC resulting from these hearings in plaintiff's records, damages, costs, and attorneys' fees.

Now before the court are motions by defendants to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), for lack of personal jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(2), for improper venue pursuant to Rule 12(b)(3), and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). For the reasons stated below, the motions are granted.


The following facts are taken from plaintiff's complaint, which are taken as true for the purposes of the Rule 12(b)(6) motion, from exhibits annexed thereto, and from the parties' submissions in connection with this motion. Disputes are noted.

The Parties

Plaintiff is a citizen of the United States and a resident of New York State. Plaintiff is a medical doctor and a surgeon with specializations in general surgery, obstetrics, and gynecology. He has performed fellowships in Ireland and Nigeria, and studied surgery in England and New York.

Defendant FSMB is a non-profit corporation incorporated under the laws of Nebraska. Its only office is located in Dallas, Texas. FSMB represents medical boards of the United States and its territories. FSMB maintains a data bank of reports of disciplinary actions against medical doctors from boards in the United States as well as agencies in the Canadian provinces, New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Defendant GMC is a statutory entity created by the British Parliament under the Medical Act of 1858. It is incorporated as a registered charity in England, Wales, and Scotland, where it has offices. It is a public authority whose decisions are susceptible to judicial review in the United Kingdom's administrative courts. The functions of GMC include: keeping up to date registers of qualified doctors, fostering good medical practice, and addressing concerns about doctors whose fitness to practice medicine is in doubt.

Factual Allegations

Plaintiff practiced medicine in England from 1994 to 1999, during which time he was subject to the jurisdiction of GMC. Complaint at ¶¶ 22-23 ("Compl."). While in England, plaintiff was the victim of racial and national origin discrimination.*fn1 Id. at ¶ 27. Plaintiff wrote letters to the British Medical Association ("BMA"), a professional body and trade union, complaining of the discrimination. Id. at ¶¶ 29-31. Dr. Bill O'Neil of the BMA Professional Resource and Research Group interviewed plaintiff, following which he wrote in a letter to GMC dated January 20, 1999, stating that plaintiff may have been the victim of discrimination, and, furthermore, that he appeared to be suffering from a delusionary state. Compl. Ex. 1.

Following Dr. O'Neil's letter report, GMC commenced an investigation into plaintiff's competency to practice medicine and summoned plaintiff to a hearing. Compl. at ¶ 37. Plaintiff appeared before the GMC Health Committee twice, although the second hearing was adjourned; plaintiff was advised that the hearing would be reconvened. Id. at ¶ 39. Plaintiff informed the Committee at a hearing on June 25, 1999 that he was migrating to the United States. Id. at ¶ 41. In 1999, plaintiff surrendered his license to the Committee. Id. at ¶ 42.

The GMC Health Committee decided at its October 27, 1999 meeting that plaintiff's fitness to practice medicine was seriously impaired and directed that his registration be subject to conditions for 12 months, after which the committee would reconsider the case. Compl. Ex. 1. These restrictions were put in place on November 29, 1999. Compl. Ex. 2. The Committee continued to hold several hearings on plaintiff's matter without notice to plaintiff or his attorney. Compl. at ¶ 43. As a result of these hearings, plaintiff's registration was suspended on November 6, 2000, and his license was suspended on December 5, 2000. On December 4, 2003, the Health Committee again suspended plaintiff's registration.

Plaintiff did not know about GMC's actions until April, 2007, when he wrote to FSMB and requested a copy of FSMB's summary of reported actions pertaining to his medical practice. Id. at ΒΆ 50. The letter sent by FSMB's physician data manager to plaintiff stated that the report summarized all reportable information concerning plaintiff. Compl. Ex. 2. The letter further stated that the FSMB only considered reports from state boards, federal agencies and federal departments, and if plaintiff deemed the report incorrect or incomplete, he must contact the agency that ...

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