Baylor County Hospital District v. Price, No. 16-10310 (5th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Seymour filed suit challenging DHHS's decision, founded on a manual that defined "primary roads" as numbered federal highways and defined "secondary roads" as non-primary roads, that it was not a critical access hospital. The district court granted summary judgment for DHHS. The court applied deference under Skidmore v. Swift & Co., and concluded that DHHS's approach was neither arbitrary nor unreasoned nor did it rely on irrelevant considerations in attempting to fulfill Congressional intent. In this case, the agency considered, among other things, more than a road's alphanumeric designation, and the agency's premise was that ordinarily, federal highways are likely to be bigger, better-maintained, and more well-traveled than state highways. DHHS's decision reflected the general conclusion that federal highways offer superior conditions than state highways. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.