Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals: Doctor Who Loses Hospital Privileges Does Not Have To Exhaust Judicial Remedies Before Filing Lawsuit Under Whistleblower Law


by Sayema Hameed

Is a doctor who claims that he lost his hospital privileges in retaliation for being a whistleblower required to “exhaust his judicial remedies” by pursuing judicial review of the hospital’s decision before he can file a separate whistleblower lawsuit under California Health and Safety Code Section 1278.5?

In a new case,  Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals (Fifth District, Case No. F063023; filed 8/14/12), the California Court of Appeal has answered this question: No, the doctor does not have to exhaust judicial remedies through writ proceedings first.  The doctor can directly bring a lawsuit against the hospital for whistleblower retaliation.