Jackson Walker represented Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation (PSC), a company that provides consulting services on physician employment, in a case brought by a physician charging that PSC illegally interfered with his employment contract. PSC asserted a number of defenses, including that any interference with the physician’s employment contract was justified by PSC’s consulting relationship with the physician’s employer.
PSC was granted summary judgment in the district court, but the Corpus Christi-Edinburg Court of Appeals reversed that decision. The court of appeals held that PSC could not establish its justification defense absent a contract. In a unanimous decision authored by Justice Paul Green, the Supreme Court of Texas reversed the Corpus Christi-Edinburg Court of Appeals and rendered judgment in favor of PSC.
The Supreme Court held that, even in the absence of a formal contractual relationship, PSC conclusively proved its agency relationship with the physician’s employer, establishing that PSC had the legal right to interfere with the employment contract. The decision, Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation v. Hansen, provides important protection for professionals rendering advice or consulting services from suits seeking damages for claims of illegal interference with a contract.
The appellate victory for PSC was a team effort, involving Jackson Walker appellate attorneys Kent C. Sullivan, William Powers, Jr., Sean D. Jordan, Danica L. Milios, and Peter C. Hansen.