Snodgrass-King Pediatric Dental Assocs., P.C. v. Dentaquest U.S. Ins. Co.

Full title: SNODGRASS–KING PEDIATRIC DENTAL ASSOCIATES, P.C. and David J. Snodgrass, D.D.S., Plaintiffs, v. DENTAQUEST USA INSURANCE CO., INC., et al., Defendants.

Court: United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division.

Date published: Jan 12, 2015

Facts

Plaintiffs assert claims for retaliation for their criticisms and legal actions against DentaQuest USA’s affiliates in violation of their First Amendment rights to free speech and their rights under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Plaintiffs’ claims arise out of the defendant’s exclusion of Plaintiffs from participation in Tennessee’s Medicaid program, which provides dental services to eligible citizens. Plaintiffs also assert a violation of the federal Medicaid statute for the defendant’s discrimination against Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also assert claims for violation of Article I, Section 8 of the Tennessee Constitution, the state’s equal protection provisions. The plaintiffs’ other state law claims are for the unlawful delegation of state authority to Defendant DentaQuest USA to determine Medicaid participation, as well as for breach of contract and the duty of good faith and fair dealing. In essence, Plaintiffs allege that, due to Plaintiffs’ long-standing and contentious relationship with DentaQuest USA’s affiliates, DentaQuest USA intentionally excluded Plaintiffs from Tennessee’s Medicaid dental provider network. Plaintiffs seek compensatory and punitive damages, as well as declaratory judgment and injunctive relief, to restore Plaintiffs to the TennCare dental provider network.

Issue

Decision

Following the Memorandum filed herewith, Defendant DentaQuest USA’s motions to dismiss (Docket Entry Nos. 24 and 56) are granted as to Plaintiffs’ equal protection claim, but the motions are otherwise denied. The Court declines to exercise its supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ state law claims, and those state law claims are dismissed without prejudice.

It is so ordered.

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