Building on Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals (2014) 58 Cal.4th 655, this decision holds that even before completing the internal peer review process under B&P Code 805-809.7, a doctor may bring a whistleblower action under H&S Code 1278.5 which protects whistleblowers who report to authorities suspected unsafe patient care and conditions.  However, in the whistleblower action under 1278.5, the doctor may not name as defendants the individual doctors involved in the peer review process who allegedly instigated it to retaliate against the plaintiff for his whistleblowing.  Also, the plaintiff’s religious discrimination claims are not subject to an Anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss.  Plaintiff voiced complaints about religious discrimination before the internal peer review process began and then restated those complaints during the review.  Because the complaints were not made solely in the internal review process, they were not intertwined with the review process and did not arise from activity protected under CCP 425.16(e).

California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 3 (Bedsworth, Acting P.J.); November 16, 2016 (published November 17, 2016); 2016 WL 6805466