Oakes v. Boise Heart Clinic Physicians, PLLCAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff-Counterdefendant-Appellant David Oakes, M.D. was employed as a cardiologist by Defendant-Counterclaimant-Respondent Boise Heart Clinic Physicians, PLLC (BHC) from January 2000 until the end of July 2008, when he left to pursue other employment opportunities. While employed by BHC, Plaintiff had an employment agreement that entitled him to half the adjusted gross charges he generated. Because of his complicated arrangements with other service providers, Plaintiff's final payment was not calculated until after his departure. After his employment ended, Plaintiff corresponded with BHC regarding his final payment. Plaintiff never received payment. Instead, he received a series of letters that detailed the evolving computation of his final payment. BHC's last letter to Plaintiff included a demand for repayment. Plaintiff then sued claiming that BHC still owed him money under the employment agreement. In rendering its verdict, the jury was given a choice between three special verdict forms that corresponded with the three possible verdicts: one finding that neither party is entitled to recover from the other; one that finding that BHC owed money to Plaintiff; and one finding that Plaintiff owed money to BHC. The jury returned with a verdict in favor of Plaintiff, and against BHC, that awarded Plaintiff $2,043.92. Ultimately the district court entered a final judgment that awarded Plaintiff $2,043.92 and declared that neither party was the prevailing party for purposes of costs and attorney fees. Plaintiff appealed the "prevailing party" decision to the Supreme Court. e sought. The district court entered a judgment conferring to Oakes the amount awarded by the jury, but found that neither party was the prevailing party for purposes of costs or attorney fees. Upon review, the Supreme Court held that the district court abused its discretion by not finding Plaintiff to be the prevailing party. The case was remanded for a determination of costs and fees.