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Schaetzel v. Mercy Health Services-Iowa

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Eastern Division

June 26, 2018

WILLIAM PAUL SCHAETZEL, Plaintiff,
v.
MERCY HEALTH SERVICES-IOWA, CORP. and MERCY MEDICAL CENTER-DUBUQUE, Defendants.

          ORDER

          LINDA R. READER JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF IOWA

         TABLE OF CONTENTS

         I. INTRODUCTION ....................................... 2

         II. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL HISTORY ........................ 2

         III. SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION .......................... 2

         IV. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD ......................... 3

         V. RELEVANT FACTUAL BACKGROUND ........................ 4

         A. The Parties ....................................... 4

         B. Overview of the Dispute ............................... 4

         VI. ANALYSIS ............................................ 6

         A. Count I: Defamation ................................. 6

         1 Parties' arguments .............................. 7

         2. Applicable law ................................. 7

         3. Application .................................. 8

         a. Libel per se .............................. 9

         b. Libel per quod ........................... 10

         B. Count II: Breach of Contract .......................... 11

         1. Parties' arguments .............................11

         2. Applicable law ................................12

         3. Application ..................................12

         C. Count III: Interference with Contract .....................13

         1. Parties' arguments .............................13

         2. Applicable law ................................ 14

         3. Application .................................. 15

         VII. CONCLUSION ........................................ 16

         I. INTRODUCTION

         The matter before the court is Defendant Mercy Health Services-Iowa, Corporation's[1] (“Mercy”) “Motion for Summary Judgment” (“Motion”) (docket no. 42).

         II. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On April 28, 2017, Plaintiff William Paul Schaetzel filed a Complaint (docket no. 1) against Defendants Mercy and Does 1-10 (collectively, “Defendants”) asserting the following claims: (1) defamation of character; (2) breach of contract; (3) injurious interference with contract; and (4) invasion of privacy. See Complaint at 3-6. On June 1, 2017, Mercy filed an Answer (docket no. 3) denying liability. On June 6, 2018, Schaetzel voluntarily dismissed Does 1-10 and Count IV of the Complaint. See June 6, 2018 Order (docket no. 48) at 1. On May 3, 2018, Mercy filed the Motion. On May 22, 2018, Schaetzel filed a Resistance (docket no. 46). On May 24, 2018, ...


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