Preston v. Tenet Health system Memorial Medical Center Inc., 485 F. 3d 804 U.S. Ct. App. 2007

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On August 22nd, 2006, Preston, the plaintiff, filed a lawsuit in Louisiana state court on behalf of a number of patients who had been admitted to Tenet Healthsystem Memorial Medical Center by LifeCare for acute treatment. Preston submitted a lawsuit against the Memorial and LifeCare for the patients' intentional wrongdoing and negligence during Hurricane Katrina, which led to injuries and, in some cases, fatalities. The defendant, LifeCare, submitted a notice of removal in accordance with the CAFA of 2005, and the court approved it. (, 2017). The plaintiff then considered a move for the case remand in regards to the exception of local controversy of the Act. The court held that the case met the three exceptions of CAFA, thus, granting a motion to remand applied by the plaintiff. The order was affirmed by the courts of appeal.

Question of law

Did the State Court have the statutory authority of hearing and deciding on the presented case?

This was based on the determination of whether LifeCare was acting pursuant to the federal government’s direction and if there was a casual nexus between the plaintiff’s claims and the defendant’s actions.

The Decision

Having reviewed different legislations to review the case including the Multiparty, Multiforum Trial Jurisdiction Act, EMTALA, and CAFA, it was held that the claims of the state law predominate over the case (, 2017). It was concluded that the case, in its entirety, lacks jurisdiction of hearing the presented matter, thus, was remanded to the Orleans Civic District Court.


In reference to the Federal Officer Removal Statute, Multiparty, Multiforum Trial Jurisdiction Act, CAFA, and the EMTATA Act all proved that the matter brought before the court precluded federal jurisdiction. As such, the court determined that evidences of the affidavits, medical records, and factual circumstances revealed that the court did not have any jurisdiction to make judgment of the case. Thus, it was remanded to the Louisiana district court (, 2017).


The opinion of the court determined that LifeCare did not act under a federal authority when it failed to maintain proper hospital conditions, thus, was denied the removal from the case. Additionally, the case failed to meet the criterion of Multiparty, Multiforum Trial Jurisdiction Act which only recognizes a case involving at least 75 deaths as a result of a common disaster, thus, precluding the federal jurisdiction (, 2017). The CAFA influenced the decision of preclusion as it determines the threshold in controversy and the existing diversity. It was found that there was lack of diversity as the incident constituted 97% of Louisiana citizens and all the injuries were recorded in New Orleans; this majorly formed the basis of remanding the case to the district court of Orleans (, 2017). Furthermore, it was opinionated that the proposed Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labour Act which suggested a reverse patients dumping by LifeCare was not under the viable to the case since the Act only addresses the cases of patients denied access to healthcare services due to the inability to pay the treatment bills.


The case presented before the court is associated with lack of emergency preparedness at the hospital. The National Response Framework had been introduced to guide institutions on the national response to various disasters. Together with the National Incident management System, acts of response are outlined as well as the alignment of key responsibilities. As such, the Preston v. Tenet Health system Memorial Medical Center Inc. case raised concern of the functionality and credibility of the frameworks. The expanded the jurisdiction of the frameworks and the national bodies in dealing with disaster responses even in the private facilities to ensure safety for all citizens.

Reference (2017). Preston v. Tenet Health system Memorial Medical Center Inc. Retrieved from

July 15, 2023

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