WHATLEY KALLAS OBTAINS PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT FOR CANCER CENTER IN ANTITRUST ACTION

 

Whatley Kallas recently won summary judgment on behalf of an oncology practice, Mid-Florida Cancer Centers, on one of its claims against Adventist Health System. Mid-Florida Cancer Center’s lawsuit challenges a variety of Adventist’s anticompetitive practices, including a market allocation agreement between Adventist Health System and Florida Cancer Specialists to carve up hematology and oncology markets in two counties in Florida in order to avoid competition from each other and to exclude Mid-Florida Cancer Centers from those markets. 

In granting partial summary judgment, the Court ruled that the market allocation agreement amounts to a naked horizontal restraint of trade and is per se unlawful under the antitrust laws. Adventist had argued that the market allocation was part of an overall arrangement that had a procompetitive effect, but the judge held that argument did not save the agreement from per se illegality because the agreement was not necessary to make a new product available. The judge therefore granted partial summary judgment in favor of Mid-Florida Cancer Centers on the market allocation claim.