American Journal of Law & Medicine

Antitrust: monopoly of kidney dialysis services - Kottle v. Northwest Kidney Centers.

Antitrust: Monopoly of Kidney Dialysis Services--Kottle v. Northwest Kidney Centers(1)--Plaintiff-appellant Sheldon Kottle filed suit against Northwest Kidney Centers (NWK) for violations of sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. [sections] 1-2, with a supplemental state law claim for violation of Washington's antitrust law, Washington Revised Code [sections] 19.86.030 (1998), in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Kottle alleged that NWK unreasonably restrained trade and attempted to monopolize the King County market for kidney dialysis services. The district court dismissed the action for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted.(2) The district court held that NWK's activities were protected under the Noerr-Pennington doctrine. Kottle then appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which affirmed the district court's holding.(3)

Kottle, a physician specializing in nephrology and transplant medicine, is the sole officer and shareholder of King County Kidney Center (KCKC). In 1991, he filed a Certificate of Need (CON) application with the Department of Health (DOH) in the State of Washington, for the approval of two new kidney dialysistreatment centers. A CON is required under the Health Planning and Resource Development Act, Washington Revised Code [sections] RCW 70. …

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