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Leal v. Sec'y., US Dept. of Health & Hum. Servs., No. 09-15727

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By FindLaw Staff on September 24, 2010 10:02 AM

In Leal v. Sec'y., US Dept. of Health & Hum. Servs., No. 09-15727, an action under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) seeking a court order requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services to remove a report about plaintiff-physician's alleged misconduct from the National Practitioner Data Bank, the court affirmed judgment for defendant where 1) the consistency between the Hospital's letters and its report to the Data Bank established the report's factual accuracy in the only sense that matters under the Health Care Quality Improvement Act; and 2) "imminent danger" was not required before a summary suspension is reportable under the Act.

As the court wrote:  "One day Dr. Jorge J. Leal, a urological clinician and surgeon, was waiting for the operating room at Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach, Florida to become available. It was, as the doctor would later describe it, "a very long day." And not a good one for him. Instead, it appears that, like Alexander in the classic children's story, Dr. Leal was having "a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day." And at around 6:30 p.m., he was told that his use of the operating room was going to be delayed (for 20 minutes as it turned out). Apparently, that was the final straw for him."

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