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Analytical Diagnostic Labs, Inc. v. Kusel, No. 08-6297

By FindLaw Staff on October 07, 2010 10:45 AM

Summary Judgment for Defendants in Equal Protection Matter Affirmed

In Analytical Diagnostic Labs, Inc. v. Kusel, No. 08-6297, a class-of-one equal protection claim alleging that defendants, employees of the New York State Department of Health, intentionally and maliciously subjected plaintiff-clinical testing laboratory to an intense and unwarranted degree of regulatory scrutiny, the court affirmed summary judgment for defendants where there was no record evidence raising a question of fact as to whether: 1) other labs were similarly situated; or 2) even assuming other labs were similarly situated, that the same decisionmakers were aware of the similarity and treated plaintiff differently.

As the court wrote:  "This case presents a class-of-one equal protection claim by plaintiff Analytical Diagnostic Labs, Inc. ("ADL"). ADL alleges that defendants - employees of the New York State Department of Health ("DOH") - intentionally and maliciously subjected ADL to an intense and unwarranted degree of regulatory scrutiny. ADL appeals from the September 11, 2008 memorandum decision and order of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Cogan, J.). The district court, relying on the Supreme Court's decision in Engquist v. Oregon Dep't of Agriculture, 553 U.S. 591 (2008), found ADL's claims barred because ADL could not show the alleged differential treatment resulted from non-discretionary state action. We find the district court's reading of Engquist overbroad and reverse that part of the opinion. We also disagree with the district court's conclusion that ADL presented sufficient evidence to demonstrate it was treated differently from other similarly situated entities. We therefore affirm the grant of summary judgment, albeit on different grounds."

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