Contract Violates Antitrust Laws
1) Read the case study (“Contract Violates Antitrust Laws”) on pages 100-101 in the textbook and answer the two discussion questions.
2) Write a paper (1,000 words) that addresses the discussion questions. Include a detailed rationale for your answers.
3) Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines.
4) This assignment uses a grading rubric. Instructors will be using the rubric to grade the assignment; therefore, students should review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the assignment criteria and expectations for successful completion of the assignment.
Citation: Oltz v. St. Peter’s Community Hosp.,
19 F.3d 1312 (9th Cir. 1994)
Oltz, a nurse anesthetist, brought an antitrust action against physician anesthesiologists and St.
Peter’s Community Hospital after he was terminated. Oltz had a billing agreement with the hospital, which provided 84% of the surgical services in the rural community that it served. The anesthesiologists
did not like competing with the nurse anesthetist’s lower fees and, as a result, entered into an exclusive contract with the hospital on April 29, 1980, in order to squeeze the nurse anesthetist out of the market. This resulted in cancellation of the nurse anesthetist’s contract with the hospital. Oltz filed a suit against the anesthesiologists and hospital for violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. The anesthesiologists settled for $462,500 before trial. The case against the hospital proceeded to trial. The jury found that the hospital conspired with the anesthesiologists and awarded the plaintiff $212,182 in lost income and $209,649 in future damages. The trial judge considered the damage award to be excessive
And ordered a new trial. The hospital motioned the court to exclude all damages after June 26, 1982, which was the date that the hospital renegotiated its exclusive contract with the anesthesiology group. The court decided that Oltz failed to prove that the renegotiated contract also violated antitrust laws, thus ruling that
Oltz was not entitled to damages after June 26, 1982. Because Oltz conceded that he could not prove damages greater than those offset by his settlement with the physicians, his claim for damages against the hospital was disposed of by summary judgment. The judge who presided over Oltz’s request for attorneys’ fees restricted the amount that he could claim. Because Oltz had been denied damages from the hospital, the judge refused to award attorneys’ fees or costs for work performed after the 1986 liability trial.
Issue Was Oltz entitled to seek recovery for all damages resulting from destruction of his business after
June 26, 1982? Holding The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that Oltz was entitled to seek recovery for all damages. Reason Oltz introduced evidence that the initial exclusive contract violate antitrust laws and that such violation destroyed his practice. “Because the initial conspiracy destroyed his practice, Oltz is entitled to seek recovery for all damages resulting from the destruction of his business . . .. The legality of any subsequent agreements between the conspirators is irrelevant, because the April 29, 1980, contract severed the lifeline to Oltz’s thriving practice . . .
1. What should parties to a contract be aware of when negotiating exclusive contracts?
2. What remedies are available when one party breaches a contract by refusing to perform an
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Otiz v. St. Peter’s Case Study