News & Insights

Cases & Deals

June 3, 2020

King & Spalding Defeats TRO for Hospital Client

A California-based King & Spalding team made up of Zuzana Ikels, Cheryl Sabnis, Jeanne Fugate, Ramon Miyar and Gina Caya successfully opposed a TRO for a hospital client and obtained a voluntary dismissal of the entire action. A plaintiff union had sued our client, attempting to force the client to keep open one of its hospital’s departments, four days before the scheduled closure, and despite having notice of the closure months before. The plaintiff alleged violations of California's Unfair Competition Law and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

Our client had announced its intention to close the hospital department months before, and implemented and completed all logistics to effectuate the closure. Doctors had directed patients elsewhere, no additional patients were being admitted into the unit, and the scope of the hospital license had already been requested, resulting in the fact that the hospital could not continue to operate the unit after the closure date of May 30.

Within 48 hours of the filing, the King & Spalding team removed the case to federal court under the LMRA (Labor Management Rights Act), and filed a lengthy opposition challenging the legal and factual bases for the TRO. The removal avoided the state court judge’s COVID-related practice of granting TROs until requests for injunctive relief could be heard under a protracted calendar, which would have forced the client to keep open the unit past the planned May 30 closure date.

On June 3, the federal court issued its order denying the TRO, in its entirety, finding that the plaintiff had failed to demonstrate it was likely to succeed on the merits and the balance of the equities favored the hospital. Our client was able to close the unit safely and on time. Shortly thereafter, the plaintiff dismissed the entire action with prejudice.