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Long v. Parry

United States District Court, D. Vermont

February 1, 2013

Raymond A. LONG, M.D., Plaintiff,
v.
Lloyd George PARRY and Davis, Parry & Tyler, P.C., Defendants.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Herbert G. Ogden, Ogden Law Offices, P.C., Danby, VT, for Plaintiff.

Samuel Hoar, Jr., Esq., Sophie E. Zdatny, Esq., Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew, P.C., Burlington, VT, for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION and ORDER

WILLIAM K. SESSIONS III, District Judge.

In this six-count complaint arising out of Defendants' legal representation of Plaintiff in a lawsuit he filed against his former employer, Defendants have moved to dismiss the complaint in its entirety pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.[1] Plaintiff has moved to amend his complaint. The motions to dismiss, ECF Nos. 6 & 11, are denied. The motion to amend, ECF No. 21, is granted.

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Background

The following facts are taken from the complaint or are the subject of judicial notice and are essentially undisputed. In early 2005 Defendants Lloyd George Parry and the law firm of Davis, Parry & Tyler, P.C. (collectively " Parry" ) filed a lawsuit in this Court on behalf of Plaintiff Raymond A. Long, M.D., alleging claims for antitrust, violation of federal health care law, and violations of common law, arising out of the termination of Long's employment as a member of the medical staff at Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans, Vermont. See Long v. Quorum Health Res., L.L.C., No. 2:05-cv-00021-wks (D. Vt. filed Jan. 24, 2005) (" Quorum " ). At the time Long filed the Quorum lawsuit, he alleged that he was a citizen of New York, domiciled in New York. Quorum, Compl. ¶ 1. On September 28, 2006, Long filed an amended complaint in which he again alleged that he was a citizen of New York domiciled in New York. Quorum, Am. Compl. ¶ 1. Jurisdiction in the Quorum lawsuit was based upon diversity, as the various individual and corporate defendants were alleged to be citizens of Vermont and Texas.

In January 2008, following a two-day mediation session held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the evaluator reported a full settlement of the dispute. The Quorum defendants agreed to pay Dr. Long $4,000,000.00 to settle all of his claims. Thereafter a dispute arose between Long and Parry over the correct distribution of the proceeds from the settlement. Eventually Parry brought a declaratory action suit against Long in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania to determine the fate of $38,403.00 held in escrow by Defendants. Davis, Parry & Tyler, P.C. v. Long, No. 5182 (C.P. Phila. Cnty. filed Dec. 31, 2008) (" PA suit" ). Parry subsequently moved to discontinue the PA suit, Long did not oppose the motion, and the case was dismissed with prejudice on May 7, 2010.

Long filed the instant suit in this Court on April 24, 2012. Jurisdiction is based on diversity, Long claiming that he is a resident of Florida, and that the Defendants are citizens of Pennsylvania. He alleges claims for professional negligence, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and violation of Vermont's consumer protection law, based on Parry's conduct of the Quorum lawsuit, and abuse of process and malicious prosecution based on Parry's conduct of the PA suit. Parry has moved to dismiss the suit in its entirety, asserting that res judicata bars Counts I through IV of the Complaint and the Court should decline to assert pendent personal jurisdiction over the Defendants with respect to Counts V and VI. Parry also contends that Pennsylvania law applies to Long's claims, that Counts I through III, V and VI are barred by the applicable statutes of limitations, and that Count IV is not cognizable under Pennsylvania law.

Long has moved to amend his complaint to add allegations concerning the conduct of the Quorum lawsuit and his ties to Vermont prior to and during the time of the Quorum lawsuit, and to specify further his damage claim.

Discussion

I. Motion to Amend

Rule 15(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a " court should freely give leave" to amend a pleading " when justice so requires." Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). Generally a plaintiff may amend his complaint unless a defendant demonstrates prejudice or bad faith. City of New York v. Group Health Inc., 649 F.3d 151, 157 (2d Cir.2011).

Parry complains that the revised allegations in Long's proposed amended complaint

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are irrelevant and misleading. In the absence of a showing of bad faith or prejudice, the Court grants leave to amend. See, e.g., Block v. First Blood ...


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