The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions today:
Appeal No. 113,675: Central Kansas Medical Center v. Stanley M. Hatesohl
Archived oral argument videoThe Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and affirmed the Barton County District Court's grant of summary judgment for Dr. Stanley M. Hatesohl. Central Kansas Medical Center is a nonprofit general corporation licensed to operate an ambulatory surgical center. CKMC employed Hatesohl as a family practitioner providing primary care to patients. When Hatesohl left CKMC to practice medicine elsewhere, CKMC sued him for violating postemployment covenants and his new employer for tortiously interfering with the contract. The Kansas corporate practice of medicine doctrine forbids a corporation from hiring a physician to practice medicine that the corporation itself is not licensed to provide. But K.S.A. 65-425(f) creates an exception allowing corporations with an ambulatory surgical center license to employ physicians primarily for the purpose of performing surgical procedures. The Supreme Court ruled that Hatesohl's family medicine practice did not fall within the K.S.A. 65-425(f) exception because Hatesohl held no surgical privileges and did not provide medical services to the surgery department. As a result, Hatesohl's employment contract with CKMC was void for violating the corporate practice of medicine doctrine. Justice Caleb Stegall concurred, concluding that, in the appropriate case, the corporate practice of medicine doctrine should be discarded. Justice Stegall reasoned that the doctrine should be abolished because it interferes with the Legislature's public policy role, protects a private interest group, and has been rendered meaningless in the modern practice of medicine.
Appeal No. 115,067: Michael McCullough and Kenneth Risley v. Devin Lee Wilson
Archived oral argument videoIn an action arising from an automobile crash, the Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals decision affirming the Wyandotte County District Court's denial of Wilson's motion for summary judgment with respect to Risley's claim for medical expenses that were paid by Risley's personal injury protection insurance carrier. Risley commenced his lawsuit within the two-year statute of limitations but after the 18-month window of K.S.A. 40-3113a(c), which automatically transfers the ability to sue for duplicative personal injury protection expenses from an insured to the insurer in the event the suit is not commenced within 18 months. The court found that, based on decades of caselaw since K.S.A. 40-3113a(c) was enacted in 1977, the statute's assignment provisions do not preclude an otherwise proper lawsuit by an injured person for damages, even if that lawsuit would result in duplicative personal injury protection damages for the victim, in part because the intent of the statute was to protect personal injury protection insurance carriers' subrogation rights when the insured did not commence a lawsuit in a timely manner.
Appeal No. 112,842: State of Kansas v. Phillip L. Clapp
Archived oral argument videoIn a direct appeal from a probation revocation hearing, the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals decision affirming the Reno County District Court's revocation of Clapp's probation and imposition of his original underlying prison sentence. The court ordered further district court proceedings concerning compliance with the Legislature's amendments to the probation revocation statute, which provide a graduated sanctioning scheme for probationers who violate the terms of their probation release. The court directed the district court to either impose an appropriate intermediate sanction or set forth its reasons for bypassing the intermediate sanctions.