United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
Loretta Azuka Obi, pro se
SUPERSEDING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
K. JOHNSTONE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the court is plaintiff Dr. Loretta Azuka Obi's original
complaint (Doc. No. 2) and complaint addendum
entitled, “Motion for Hearing” (Doc. No.
9). The matter came before the court for preliminary
review, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and LR
4.3(d)(2), after which the court issued a Report and
Recommendation (Doc. No. 7) on September 18, 2018
(“September 18 R&R”).
September 18 R&R appears to have crossed in the mail with
the plaintiff's complaint addendum (Doc. No. 9).
Accordingly, the court now conducts a further preliminary
review of the claims asserted in both the original complaint
and complaint addendum (Doc. Nos. 2, 9),
and issues this Superseding Report and Recommendation
(“Superseding R&R”), which replaces the
September 18 R&R for all purposes, including the
identification of plaintiff's claims.
court may dismiss claims asserted in a complaint filed in
forma pauperis, if the court lacks jurisdiction, a defendant
is immune from the relief sought, the complaint fails to
state a claim, or the action is frivolous or malicious.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); LR 4.3(d)(2). In
determining whether a pro se complaint states a claim, the
court must construe the complaint liberally. See Erickson
v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam). To
survive preliminary review, the complaint must contain
“sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim to relief.'” See Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citation omitted).
The court treats as true all well-pleaded factual
allegations, and construes reasonable inferences in
plaintiff's favor. See Ocasio-Hernández v.
Fortuño-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 12 (1st Cir. 2011).
was a contract physician, assigned to work as a hospitalist
at Exeter Hospital pursuant to contracts executed between her
and the defendants named in this action: Exeter Health
Resources, Inc. (“Exeter Health Resources”); Core
Physicians LLC (“Core Physicians”); and Barton
Associates, Inc. (“Barton”). Dr. Obi alleges that
she provided services at Exeter Hospital beginning on
December 22, 2017, under a contract that called for her to
provide services through February 25, 2018. “Placement
Orders, ” attached to the original complaint, bearing
Dr. Obi's signature and a signature for Barton, assign
Dr. Obi to work for Core Physicians at Exeter Hospital. An
October 30, 2017 Placement Order (Doc. No. 2, at
13), covers the period from January 8, 2018 through February
25, 2018; and a December 27, 2017 Placement Order marked as
“Schedule G” (Doc. No. 2, at 16)
(“Schedule G Placement Order”), assigns Dr. Obi
to work at Exeter Hospital from December 22, 2017 through
January 1, 2018. The original complaint (Doc. No. 2)
asserts that Dr. Obi's signature on the Schedule G
Placement Order was forged.
asserts that she received a phone call on January 3, 2018,
terminating her contract to work at Exeter Hospital, based on
what Dr. Obi characterizes as false staff reports and
“coerced” patient complaints. Exhibits to the
complaint indicate that concerns raised by Exeter Hospital
staff and patients, relating to Dr. Obi's behavior,
patient care, and medical record documentation practices,
became the subject of an internal investigation beginning in
January 2018. Exeter Hospital summarily withdrew Dr.
Obi's clinical privileges at that time, and then reported
its withdrawal of Dr. Obi's privileges to the National
Practitioner Data Bank. Dr. Obi asserts that her inclusion in
the National Practitioner Data Bank was automatically
published to all of her employers within the last three years
and triggered a further inquiry by the New Hampshire Board of
Medicine. Dr. Obi asserts that the true motive for
withdrawing her privileges was to defame her, through the
National Practitioner Data Bank report, because she had
refused to participate in improper billing practices and
unsafe medical practices at Exeter Hospital.
letter from Dan Doran, Core Physicians Senior Human Resources
Partner, to Caley Thompson, Barton Associates Group Manager,
dated January 26, 2018 (Doc. No. 2, at 18) reports
that because Exeter Hospital had suspended Dr. Obi's
clinical privileges, Dr. Obi was unable to fulfill the terms
of her assignment at Exeter Hospital. Doran's letter
further reports that Core Physicians was cancelling Dr.
Obi's placement due to “provider breach, ”
and that Core did not intend to assign her to work again with
Core Physicians or at Exeter Hospital.
asserts that she has been unable to secure employment as a
doctor since January 2018. An email to Dr. Obi from a third
party, Weatherby Healthcare, dated February 21, 2018 (Doc.
No. 2, at 19), asked Dr. Obi to provide full
documentation regarding Exeter Hospital's suspension of
her clinical privileges. Other documents in the record
indicate that Dr. Obi has fallen behind in paying her bills.
Document Nos. 2 and 9, Dr. Obi asserts the
Defendants, Exeter Health Resources, Core Physicians, and
Barton, breached their contractual obligations to Dr. Obi by:
a. Failing to conduct an adequate orientation of Dr. Obi with
regard to her placement as a hospitalist at Exeter Hospital;
b. Failing to provide Dr. Obi with timely access to
information, material, and login access she needed to perform