United States District Court, D. New Mexico
ESTATE OF VERA CUMMINGS, by and through Personal Representative, Elicia Montoya, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC., A foreign corporation, d/b/a LAS CRUCES MEDICAL CENTER L.L.C., and MOUNTAIN VIEW REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S
MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND PRELIMINARY
INJUNCTION FOLLOWING REVERSAL AND REMAND
FROM TENTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS
MATTER comes before the Court upon a Motion for Temporary
Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction, filed by
Defendant Community Health Systems, Inc. (“CHSI”
or “Defendant”) on March 2, 2018 (Doc.
226), and following the Tenth Circuit Court of
Appeal's reversal and remand of this case. See Estate
of Cummings by & through Montoya v. Cmty. Health Sys.,
Inc., 881 F.3d 793, 806 (10th Cir. 2018). Having
reviewed the parties' pleadings, the controlling law and
in particular the Tenth Circuit's recent opinion in this
case, and after hearing oral argument of counsel at the
hearing on March 7, 2018, the Court finds Defendant's
motion is well-taken and, therefore, is GRANTED.
case is a medical negligence case initiated by Elicia
Montoya, as personal representative of the Estate of Vera
Cummins (“Plaintiff” or “the
Estate”). This case has been appealed to the Tenth
Circuit twice, on matters having nothing to do with the
actual merits of the case. In order to provide context to the
discussion, the Court provides a succinct procedural
chronology of the case:
. On January 28, 2011, the Estate filed this
lawsuit in the First Judicial District Court, County of Santa
Fe, State of New Mexico, alleging medical negligence
resulting in wrongful death.
. The case was removed to federal court on January 25, 2012
on the basis of federal question jurisdiction pursuant to the
Federal Tort Claims Act, 42 U.S.C.
. September 6, 2012 (Doc. 60): This Court granted CHSI's
motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction in New
Mexico, thereby dissolving a previous state court order
denying CHSI's motion to dismiss on the same
. August 5, 2014 (Doc. 160): This Court granted a motion for
summary judgment filed by Defendant Mountain View Regional
Medical Center (“Mountain View”), finding that
Plaintiffs failure to disclose an expert report was
“fatal” to Plaintiffs medical negligence and
negligent hiring/credentialing claims.” Doc. 160 at 13.
. December 1, 2014 (Doc. 177): Motion to Dismiss filed by
Defendant United States of America for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction, and granted on February 10, 2015 (Doc. 196).
. March 9, 2015 (Doc. 198) - Notice of first appeal;
Plaintiff argued that Court's rulings regarding Mountain
View should be vacated if there was no subject matter
jurisdiction over federal claim.
. August 30, 2016 (Doc. 203): Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
affirms district court dismissal of federal claims, directing
the district court to vacate rulings on the supplemental
claims against Mountain View and to remand those claims to
New Mexico state court. (“First 2016 Order”). The
mandate was silent as to the disposition of claims against
. August 20, 2016 (Doc. 204): district court remanded
Plaintiffs claims against Defendant Mountain View to First
Judicial District Court, as directed by Tenth Circuit
. January 19, 2017 (Doc. 207) - Mountain View files Motion
for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction to
bar Plaintiff from pursuing claims against CHSI in state
court. The pleading mentioned that during the appeal process,
the parties had stipulated the dismissal with prejudice of
the appeal of the district court's dismissal for lack of
personal jurisdiction of the claims against
. January 25, 2017 (Doc. 212): the district court amended its
August 20, 2016 remand order, finding that because it had no
subject matter jurisdiction over the case, its rulings
regarding the claims against CHSI (including the dismissal
based on lack of personal jurisdiction) should be vacated as
well and remanded those claims to state court.
. February 24, 2017 (Doc. 215): CHSI appeals the district
court's order vacating the order that dismissed the
claims against CHSI.
. January 29, 2018: - the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
reversed the district court's order that vacated the
dismissal of the claims against CHSI and the district
court's remanding of those claims to state
court. See Doc. 224. In this second
mandate, the Court of Appeals found that it was
“improper to vacate the dismissal of CHSI and to remand
the claims against CHSI to the state court.” Estate
of Cummings, 881 F.3d at 806 (“Second 2018
Order”). The case was remanded to district court
“solely for the purpose of ruling on CHSI's request
for injunctive relief with respect to the pending state
. March 2, 2018, Doc. 226: CHSI filed a
second Motion for TRO or Preliminary Injunction, which was
essentially a re-filing of the previous request (Doc. 207)
for injunctive relief.
noted above, this Court held a hearing on the matter on March
7, 2018. Notice was provided, as both parties briefed the
issues raised in CHSI's motion and ...