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Argued June 26, 2000

OPINION

Patricia Norlie-Lazorko committed suicide in July 1993, allegedly as a consequence of her untreated mental illness. Her husband, Jonathan Lazorko, brought suit in state court against Dr. David Nicklin, Patricia’s doctor; University City Family Medicine, Nicklin’s employer; Pennsylvania Hospital; the Institute of Pennsylvania; and U.S. Healthcare, Inc., the health maintenance organization (HMO) administering Lazorko’s health benefits. After a series of removals of the case to the U.S. District Court and remands to state court, Lazorko appeals the dismissal of his direct claims against U.S. Healthcare and the District Court’s award of sanctions against him for including two purportedly frivolous allegations in his complaint. U.S. Healthcare cross-appeals the District Court’s remand to state court of the vicarious liability claims against it.

 
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