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3/12/2013 5:00:00 PM
Court grants Sahlolbei demurrer and motion to strike
Sahlolbei
Sahlolbei

Marty Bachman


BLYTHE - The demurrer and motion to strike filed by attorneys for Palo Verde Hospital Chief of Staff, Dr. Hossain Sahlolbei in response to the hospital's fraud lawsuit, was granted by Riverside County Superior Court on March 1. According to John A, Mills of the law firm Fenton Nelson of Los Angeles, representing Sahlolbei, the demurrer's purpose was to show the court that, as a matter of law, PVH's complaint failed to set forth a valid cause of action against Sahlolbei even if it's assumed that the purported allegations of fact contained in the complaint are true.

"The demurrer was not our clients' formal Answer to the complaint, and should not be interpreted to mean that our clients admit any of the allegations in the complaint," Mills said in an email. "The Court sustained (i.e., granted) the demurrer for the reasons we alleged in the demurrer. The Court also granted a "motion to strike" we had filed concurrently with the demurrer."

Mills said that the purpose of the motion to strike is similar to the demurrer in that it shows the court that certain allegations of the complaint are not based on any plausible facts, but are simply unsubstantiated conclusions, such as PVH's claim that it is entitled to recover attorney's fees and punitive damages.

"PVH has until April 15 to file an amended complaint that pleads sufficient facts to state a cause of action, which its current complaint failed to do," Mills wrote. "We anticipate that, in the event PVH attempts to file an amended complaint, it will still be unable to allege a viable cause of action against Dr. Sahlolbei and Pars Surgery. If PVH does seek to pursue its meritless lawsuit by filing an amended complaint, we will likely file another demurrer and motion to strike and request the court to dismiss PVH's lawsuit."

The hospital was originally represented in the suit by Thomas S. Slovak of the law firm of Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney of Palm Springs. Slovak and the firm withdrew from the case after a new Healthcare District Board was seated in December and they refused to make arrangements to pay the firm. The firm was granted an order to be relieved of the case on Feb. 8.

Attorney Blaise Jackson, from the law firm of Jeffrey G. Scott of San Diego, the Healthcare District's attorney that was hired after the board fired attorney Robert Patterson of Best, Best & Krieger, was present in court for the hospital.

According to Scott, Jackson asked that the court either continue the hearing on the demurrer or in the alternative, grant the demurrer and provide the hospital additional time to file an amended complaint.

"The attorney who had been representing the District did not file any opposition so it was not a surprise that the court granted the demurrer," Scott wrote in an email. "The purpose of our special appearance was to request that the court provide the hospital additional time so that the Board could discuss the case in closed session after they had received guidance from the FPPC. The court granted our request and provided the District 45 days to amend its complaint. Now that the Board has received direction from the FPPC, four members will be able to discuss the matter in closed session at the next meeting and take whatever action they deem appropriate."

In October the Palo Verde Healthcare District Board sued Sahlolbei and his company, Pars Surgery, Inc., accusing them of fraud, unfair and deceptive business practices, breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment among other charges. In November, lawyers for Sahlolbei filed their demurrer.

Download the Declaration of PVH attorney Blaise Jackson

Download Sahlolbei's motion to strike

Download court's notice of ruling

Download the declarations to relieve Slovak as counsel 2

Download the court order relieving Slovak as counsel

Download the declarations to relieve Slovak as counsel 1

Related Stories:
• FPPC rules Hudson has conflict and can't vote on issues concerning hospital chief of staff, Sahlolbei
• TIMES EDITORIAL: Hospital's new interim-CEO might be too ethical to last
• TIMES EDITORIAL: No end in sight to Palo Verde Hospital drama
• TIMES EDITORIAL: Conflicts at Palo Verde Hospital will soon cost someone their life

Related Links:
• Healthcare District files lawsuit against hospital surgeon, Hossain Sahlolbei
• Sahlolbei attorneys file demurrer in response to suit
• Hospital attorneys ask court to dismiss Sahlolbei's federal suit


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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2013
Article comment by: Hospital leeches

Hey! It looks like we've got your number, and you need to watch YOUR back for a change. You, too, city council and manager. We are tired of the parasites sucking the blood out of our town.

Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Article comment by: To Catalina

We are proud of you and remember this saying.

Everything will be alright in the end, if it is not alright it is not yet the end.


Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Article comment by: From Someone Who Cares

So proud of you Cat. I heard the report and I am happy you let the cat out of the bag.

I also heard S (deleted).

The twins will go to war against each other soon . Meanwhile they will fly high.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Article comment by: @ mark my words

Of course the filing by the attorney looked fine, he represents the plantiffs and is only showing his clients side of the story. The reality is that there are two sides to the story and you must see all sides plus the evidence from both sides to really make a statement like you did. (deleted) The hospitals attorney (deleted) strongly recommended that the case be dropped.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Article comment by: Mark Mywords

Anyone who has read the the lawsuit PVH vs Sahlolbei, and read the exibit contracts, would be disingenuous to say the suit is "frivilous." It appears that the suit will "go away" because three board members, each with obvious personal and business connections to S, have chosen to refuse payment to the lawyer who filed the suit. This is all a stinky, hot mess, but the original suit looked pretty compelling. To the person that posted "Need a new Paper," I respectfully disagree. I think the coverage of these matters by Palo Verde Valley Times has been absolutely appropriate and valuable to the voting citizens of Blythe.

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013
Article comment by: @ Need a new Paper

It appears that you are getting poor advice.

It is only illegal if there is a law against it, period!


Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013
Article comment by: Need a new Paper

Will be glad when the Dr teaches this group a lesson about the legal system. To listen to Catalina McCLain attempt to play lawyer was very painful at the most recent meeting. Could someone explain to her that what is not legal is illegal. She is clearly getting bad advice and I feel dreadful for her family.See where her old boss left her?

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013
Article comment by: Phantom Nose

Community that has been mistreated: We had a wonderful little hospital with very competent management and a board which only cared about doing good for the Palo Verde Valley. Then (deleted) arrived and took over the board and the hospital. What was a source of community pride has become a political football focused on what is best for a few rather than for our community.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: AJ McKay

@Phantom Nose just for clarification what do you mean by the community mistreated? Are you talking about the ones who needed treatment at PVH in the past or the employees? I only ask because the opinions of individuals (employees & patients) seem to vary. Some do not agree on some issues and some do not. Maybe it's best for everyone to voice their opinions and not push their opinions as a representation for the community. No disrespect by the way. I speak for myself also. Depending on what happens in the future, the question may be is do we respect the legal system's decisions? Will we continue to call people names, voice mature opinions for either side, or let the organizations that handle the legal issues move forward with due process and respect every outcome? I guess we will see . . .

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

When these people refused to pay the bill for these court proceeding it showed a bias and a clear case of conflict of interest. Open your eyes people. If the Golden one goes, they will lose their cash cow. If the Golden one is being accused of making side deals, whats to say that one has not been made with these people. Is it illegal? I think not. Immoral? Why? The moral value of the community leaders of Blythe have been declining for the last 30 years or so. If you want to surprise me have one of these people do the right thing like thinking of the community first and not his Bank Account.

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: Phantom Nose

I hope things really are moving forward. That would be very good news for this community that has been so mistreated for the last decade.

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: At AJ

Correction: At last you make sense. Regardless of who wins the case, the greater power sees over us.
Most likely the plaintiffs did not wake up one day and say let's go after the defendant. Most likely they were acting as your representative avoiding a dereliction of duty.



Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: At AJ

At last you make since. Regardless of who wins the case, the greater power sees over us.
Most likely the plaintiffs did not wake up one day and say let's go after the defendent. Most likely they were acting as your representative avoiding a dereliction of duty.


Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: AJ McKay

The court based the decision based on lack of information at the current moment. Best that no comments are taken as fact because if we all would of known what we were talking about up to this point, the demurrer granted would of been no surprise to anyone. All we know is that there is a lawsuit against the Doc by the past board. We may know some details through public channels, but like all court matters a great majority of critical info is not made public and kept between both sides and their lawyers. To assume we know more than them simply isn't realistic. Let's see what happens next over time. It will come out soon enough and there will be a winner and a loser. Then on to the next issue.

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: EXPENSIVE payback for defaming a Doc.

Demurrer file on November 15 if you links are correct. Carney Board was in place till December 7, 2012. Why did they not respond in that three weeks or a month later when there was no issue? It may be because any response would have not made a difference. The frivolous lawsuit was dead on arrival.


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