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The threshold issue in this appeal is whether the artful pleading doctrine may be invoked to assert federal jurisdiction over a complaint alleging state antitrust law claims. Because plaintiff alleged state law claims in a field that is not completely preempted by federal law, the artful pleading doctrine does not apply. The district court therefore lacked subject matter jurisdiction, and its orders must be vacated and the case remanded to state court.

I.

Appellant, Terrebonne Homecare, Inc. (“THI”), a home health care agency, sued Terrebonne General Medical Center in Louisiana state court contending that Terrebonne General conspired with its partially owned HMO to terminate appellant as a preferred provider and to favor a competing home health care agency that was owned by Terrebonne General. THI asserted claims for violations of the Louisiana antitrust laws, the Louisiana unfair competition statute, the Louisiana Constitution and for breach of contract. Terrebonne General removed the case to federal court, relying on the artful pleading doctrine to assert that appellant’s complaint stated a federal antitrust claim. The district court denied a motion to remand on the grounds that appellant’s state antitrust claims were actually federal in nature because they involved interstate commerce, and Louisiana antitrust law applied only to intrastate commerce. The district court concluded that THI had artfully pleaded its complaint to avoid a necessary federal question. The district court found that THI’s real claim was a federal antitrust claim, which provided the basis for removal. After it assumed jurisdiction, the district court granted summary judgment dismissing all of THI’s claims.

 
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