Court dismisses doc's SLAPP lawsuit

The California Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by George K. Kibler, M.D., against Northern Inyo Hospital, saying that the suit is subject to California's anti-SLAPP statute. SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) are civil complaints or counterclaims in which the supposed injury resulted from free speech activities protected by the First Amendment (in this case, from professional medical activities). Kibler faced disciplinary action from a peer review board after fellow employees accused him of acting violently and aggressively toward staff and making threats with a gun. Despite reaching an agreement with the review board, Kibler proceeded to file a suit against the hospital and several employees citing a number of complaints, including defamation and interference with the practice of medicine. The defendants filed a motion to declare Kibler's suit a SLAPP and were successful.

- read this report on the ruling from the Metropolitan News-Enterprise
- see this Web site for more on SLAPPs