United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
Loretta Azuka Obi, pro se, Timothy Benjamin Sweetland, Esq.,
Julie K. Connolly, Esq.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
K. Johnstone, United States Magistrate Judge
the court is plaintiff Dr. Loretta Azuka Obi's
“Motion to Amend the Complaint” (Doc. No. 15),
filed in response to this court's October 2, 2018 Order
(Doc. No. 13) (“October 2 Order”). The court
construes the allegations in the instant filing as intending
to add new claims and allegations to the claims in the
underlying operative complaint and complaint addendum (Doc.
Nos. 2, 9).
general, under Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a), leave to amend is to be
“freely given.” Id. One ground for
denying a proposed amendment is futility. See Todisco v.
Verizon Commc'ns, Inc., 497 F.3d 95, 98 (1st Cir.
2007). To assess whether the proposed amendment is futile,
this court applies the standard for preliminary review of
claims set forth in the October 2, 2018 Report and
Recommendation (“October 2 R&R”) (Doc. No.
14), which the district judge approved in its October 27,
2018 Order (Doc. No. 22). To the extent a proposed amendment
would add new parties, the court also considers whether those
new parties are properly joined as defendants pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a) and 21.
was a hospitalist who worked at Exeter Hospital under
contracts between her and defendants Exeter Health Resources,
Inc.; Core Physicians LLC; and Barton Associates, Inc. She
began the job at Exeter Hospital on December 22, 2017, and
she continued working there until she was fired on January 3,
2018, based on what she characterizes as false staff reports
and “coerced” patient complaints. Dr. Obi asserts
that Exeter Hospital's true motives were to retaliate
against her for failing to engage in what she considered to
be unethical or illegal patient management decisions and
fraudulent billing practices.
terminating her contract, Exeter Hospital withdrew Dr.
Obi's clinical privileges and reported that action, and
its reasons for the action, to the National Practitioner Data
Bank (“NPDB”), a U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services data base which collects reports of adverse
actions affecting health care providers
nationwide. The New Hampshire Board of Medicine and
Dr. Obi's past employers, including Weatherby Healthcare,
received notice of her inclusion in the NPDB. The New
Hampshire Board of Medicine's subsequent investigation
and proceedings culminated in the revocation of Dr. Obi's
license to practice medicine in New Hampshire.
October 2 R&R identified the claims asserted by Dr. Obi
as Claims 1-5, and recommended that Claim 2(c) and 4 be
dismissed, and that Claim 5 be dismissed without prejudice.
The October 2 Order granted Dr. Obi an opportunity to move to
amend her pleadings, to state sufficient facts to allow her
claims of fraud and defamation to proceed against the
defendants named in Document Nos. 2 and 9. Dr. Obi filed the
instant motion to amend (Doc. No. 15) in response to the
October 2 Order.
Facts Relating to Claims Identified in the October 2 R&R
Claims 2(c) and 4
Motion to Amend, Dr. Obi alleges new facts relating to tort
and contract claims this court has previously identified as
Claims 1-5. In her motion to amend, Dr. Obi specifically
accepts the magistrate judge's recommendation that the
district judge dismiss Claims 2(c) and 4, and her defamation
claims against Barton Associates and Core Physicians. The new
facts asserted in the motion to amend do not alter the
recommendations in the October 2 R&R (Doc. No. 14), which
the district judge approved, see ...