UT Southwestern Med. Ctr. at Dallas v. Gentillello, MD (pdf), No. 08-0696 (Tex. Dec. 18,
2009)(per curiam) (whistleblower case remanded in light of ruling in State v. Lueck)
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SOUTHWESTERN MEDICAL CENTER AT DALLAS v. LARRY M. GENTILELLO, M.
D.; from Dallas County; 5th district (05-07-00845-CV, 260 SW3d 221, 07-18-08)
motion to dismiss dismissed as moot
stay order issued October 2, 2008, lifted
Pursuant to Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 59.1, after granting the petition for review and without hearing
oral argument, the Court reverses the court of appeals’ judgment and remands the case to that court.
Per Curiam Opinion [pdf]
View Electronic Briefs filed in THE UNIV. OF TEX. SW. MED. CTR. AT DALLAS v. LARRY M. GENTILELLO, M.D.
The Univ. of Tex. Sw. Med. Ctr. at Dallas v. Gentillello, MD (Tex. 2009)(per curiam)
Dr. Larry M. Gentilello sued the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas under the
Texas Whistleblower Act, alleging that he was demoted and stripped of two faculty chair positions for
reporting violations of Medicare and Medicaid regulations to his supervisor. The Medical Center filed a
plea to the jurisdiction, asserting that Gentilello’s claims were barred by governmental immunity
because he failed to allege a violation under the Whistleblower Act. The trial court denied the plea to
the jurisdiction and the Medical Center appealed. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem.Code § 51.014(a)(8)
(permitting appeal from an interlocutory order that denies a plea to the jurisdiction by a governmental
unit). The court of appeals affirmed, holding that Gentilello need only allege a whistleblower violation,
and that consideration of the elements of section 554.002(a) of the Government Code was precluded
because those elements were not jurisdictional, but rather “underlying elements of a Whistleblower
suit.” 260 S.W.3d 221, 226.
However, in State v. Lueck, 290 S.W.3d 876, 883 (Tex. 2009), we held that “the elements of section
554.002(a) can be considered to determine both jurisdiction and liability.” Accordingly, whether the
reporting of violations of Medicare and Medicaid regulations to a supervisor is a good-faith report of a
violation of law to an appropriate law-enforcement authority is a jurisdictional question. Therefore,
without hearing oral argument, Tex. R. App. P. 59. 1, and for the reasons explained in Lueck, we
reverse and remand to the court of appeals to determine whether, under the analysis set forth in Lueck,
Gentilello has alleged a violation under the Act. See Tex. Gov’t Code § 554.002(a).
OPINION DELIVERED: December 18, 2009