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Admitted to Practice

  • Washington, 1982
  • District of Columbia, 1978

Douglas C. Ross

Doug Doug RossDouglas
Partner
T206.757.8135
F206.757.7135
Mr. Ross concentrates his practice in antitrust and complex litigation. He entered private practice after spending four years with the government, primarily at the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice. He served as chair of the firm’s litigation practice group from 2008 through 2013.

Mr. Ross is an officer of the ABA’s Section of Antitrust Law and a member of the ABA’s House of Delegates. He is a member of the Bureau of National Affairs’ Health Law Advisory Board and past chair of the Antitrust Practice Group of the American Health Lawyers Association. Mr. Ross is listed by "The Best Lawyers in America" as Seattle Antitrust Lawyer of the Year. The publication lists him in Antitrust Law and Litigation, Commercial Litigation, and Health Care Law. Chambers USA lists Mr. Ross as one of "America’s Leading Lawyers in Business" in Commercial Litigation.

Mr. Ross is an adjunct professor at the University of Washington School of Law. He teaches antitrust in the Fall and a seminar on competition and health care in the Winter.

Antitrust Experience

Mergers, Acquisitions and Affiliations

Mr. Ross represents clients in mergers, acquisitions and affiliations in investigations by federal and state antitrust enforcement authorities. Matters have included:
  • Antitrust counsel to a large health care system investigated by the FTC for its proposed acquisition of two cardiology practices.
  • Antitrust counsel to Black Press, owner of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, in an investigation conducted by the Antitrust Division and State of Hawai`i into the acquisition by Black Press of the Honolulu Advertiser. The Division and State permitted the acquisition to proceed after the failing company defense was successfully demonstrated. The two newspapers were combined into a single daily, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
  • Antitrust counsel to the University of Washington in the affiliation of Northwest Hospital & Medical Center with UW Medicine and the subsequent affiliation with Valley Medical Center, Renton.
  • Antitrust counsel to Providence Health & Services in its acquisition of a general acute care hospital in the Portland, Oregon area.
  • Antitrust counsel to Providence Health System, Southern California, in its acquisition of a general acute care hospital from affiliates of Tenet Healthcare.
  • Antitrust counsel in Washington to BankAmerica in its acquisition of Security Pacific.
  • Antitrust counsel to PayLess Drug Stores in its acquisition of Pay ‘N Save Drugstores.
  • Antitrust counsel to Shell Oil Company in litigation filed by the Attorney General seeking to block the sale of Shell’s western Washington operations to Texaco.

Government Investigations

Mr. Ross has represented clients under investigation by the antitrust authorities in conduct (non-merger) matters. These investigations have included:
  • Represented non-U.S. carrier in criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into alleged price fixing.
  • Represented barcode seller in FTC investigation in an “invitation to collude” case. In its publicly available statement, the FTC noted its conclusion the evidence did not support a charge that a price-fixing agreement existed, which could have resulted in a criminal referral.
  • Represented game manufacturer in an investigation by a state attorney general into alleged agreement among game companies not to hire employees from each other.
  • Represented a regional health care system investigated by the FTC for allegedly dominating the provision of primary care in multiple markets.
  • Represented The Seattle Times in an investigation conducted by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice into allegations that the Times had attempted to monopolize the newspaper market in Seattle. The Division closed the investigation and issued a public closing statement explaining its action.

Antitrust Litigation

Mr. Ross has represented clients in antitrust litigation, frequently gaining early dismissal of an action or summary judgment on their behalf. Significant litigation has included:

Witham v. Clallam County Public Hospital District No. 2
Lead counsel to public hospital district sued by oncologist who claimed the hospital monopolized the provision of oncology services by hiring its own providers. On motion to dismiss filed against the complaint, obtained dismissal of Sherman Act damage claims under Local Government Antitrust Act and of all state antitrust claims. (W.D. Wash. 2009)

East Portland Imaging Center and Body Imaging v. Providence Health System and Providence Health Plan
Lead counsel for Providence Health System and its health plan in an antitrust case brought by two outpatient diagnostic imaging centers that were terminated from the plan in favor of two joint ventures formed by Providence and community radiologists. The district court granted summary judgment for Providence and the Ninth Circuit affirmed. (D. Oregon 2006; 9th Cir. 2008)

Woodruff v. Hawai’i Pacific Health
Obtained summary judgment for Hawai’i Pacific Health in antitrust litigation filed in state court in Honolulu by a group of pediatric oncologists who were terminated from the health system’s medical group. Plaintiffs asserted claims under the state’s antitrust laws and unfair trade practices act. Currently representing Hawai’i Pacific in similar litigation filed in federal court that includes claims under the Sherman Act and the Lanham Act. Civ. No. 02-1-0090-01 (BIA) (Cir. Ct., First Cir., Haw. 2008)

Northwest Healthcare Alliance, Inc., dba Assured Home Health and Hospice v. Providence Health System – Washington
Represented Providence in an antitrust lawsuit in which a home health agency claimed Providence improperly steered referrals to its own agency. The parties settled with no payment of fees, costs or damages by Providence and no admission of liability. (King Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2004)

Schaff et al. v. Vision Service Plan
Represented Vision Service Plan in an antitrust suit brought by optometrists who had been terminated by VSP for failing to comply with VSP’s conditions and rules. After the Court entered a decision and order denying plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction, plaintiffs dismissed their complaint. (W.D. Mich. 2002)

Daraee, et al. v. Microsoft Corporation
Represented Microsoft Corporation in an antitrust suit defending against a class action brought by purchasers in Oregon of Windows 98. The case was dismissed in June 2000, on Microsoft’s motion to dismiss filed one month after the case was filed. (Multnomah Cnty. (Or.) Cir. Ct. 2000)

Van Waters & Rogers v. Shell Chemical Co.
Represented Shell Chemical Company in an antitrust action brought by a former national distributor of Shell’s surfactants alleging that Shell engaged in tying, monopolization and exclusive dealing. Summary judgment was entered for Shell on principal claims. Plaintiff then dismissed the remainder of the action without payment or promise by Shell. (W.D. Wash. 2000)

Kottle v. Northwest Kidney Centers
Represented Northwest Kidney Centers (NKC) in an action brought by a physician who sued NKC for monopolization after NKC opposed his application for a certificate of need that would have allowed him to provide competing dialysis services. The district court granted NKC’s motion to dismiss the complaint on grounds that the actions of NKC were protected from the antitrust laws by the First Amendment’s right to petition. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. 146 F.3d 1056 (9th Cir. 1998)

Eureka Urethane, Inc. v. Professional Bowlers Association
Obtained summary judgment for the PBA on all claims in advance of trial. At issue was the question of whether broadcasters and sports organizations must allow professional bowlers participating in a televised sports broadcast to display advertisements on their equipment or apparel. The court ruled that the PBA and NBC could properly prohibit such displays. 746 F. Supp. 915 (E.D. Mo. 1990) aff’d, 935 F.2d 990 (8th Cir. 1991)

Commercial Litigation

Mr. Ross has represented companies in complex commercial litigation for over thirty years. Significant cases he has litigated include:

Washington State Hospital Association v. Department of Health
Represented the hospital association in a challenge to a regulation enacted in early 2014 expanding the scope of the state’s certificate of need law to apply to require that all changes in control of a hospital be approved in advance by the Department. Successfully obtained ruling that the regulation is invalid. The Department has appealed and is seeking direct review by the Washington supreme court.

Northwest Kidney Centers v. Department of Health
Represented the kidney dialysis provider in challenge to the decision of the certificate of need program within the Department of Health to grant a certificate for the provision of additional dialysis services to DaVita rather than Northwest Kidney Centers. Successfully obtained reversal of decision from administrative law judge which was affirmed on appeal to the Thurston County Superior Court. DaVita has appealed to the court of appeals.

Craig Wireless Systems Ltd. v. Clearwire Legacy LLC
Represented Clearwire against claim by Canadian company that Clearwire breached a contract by failing to supply wireless equipment and that an earlier stock purchase, by which Clearwire acquired the Canadian company’s Hawaiian spectrum, should be revoked. Obtained summary judgment or dismissal of all claims asserted against Clearwire.

Robertson et al. v. The Port Blakely Company
Trial counsel to family-owned tree farming business in dispute with limited partners. Successfully tried securities fraud claims to jury after obtained dismissal on summary judgment of claims seeking dissolution. (2010)

Paul v. Providence Health System  
Represented Providence Health System against a putative class action. Plaintiffs alleged that the theft of unencrypted backup tapes and optical discs from the car of an employee was negligent and a violation of the Oregon Unfair Trade Practices Act. Plaintiffs sought to certify the case on behalf of a class of 365,000 current and former patients whose patient information was stored on the stolen material. The court granted a motion to dismiss with prejudice and all claims were dismissed. Dismissal was affirmed by the Oregon Court of Appeals, 237 Or. App 584, 240 P3d 1110, and by the Oregon Supreme Court, 351 Or. 587, 273 P.3d 106 (February 24, 2012).

Mill v. Virginia Mason Medical Center
Lead counsel to Virginia Mason in a class action challenging the imposition of a facility fee at its downtown outpatient clinic. Following entry of summary judgment in Virginia Mason’s favor establishing such fees were unlawful, the remaining claim regarding disclosure of the fees was settled. (King Cnty. Super. Ct. 2008)

U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, In re: Providence Health & Services
Represented Providence Health & Services in federal administrative proceedings related to the theft of backup tapes. Proceedings ended in a negotiated settlement.

DaVita, Inc. v. Dept. of Health and Olympic Peninsula Kidney Center
Successfully represented Olympic Peninsula Kidney Center, a dialysis provider, in a certificate-of-need dispute, from administrative hearings through the Court of Appeals process. DaVita, Inc. v. Department of Health and Olympic Peninsula Kidney Center, 137 Wn. App. 174 (Wash. App. 2007)

Hearst Communications v. Seattle Times Co.
Lead counsel to the Seattle Times Company in litigation filed by the Hearst Corporation regarding the Joint Operating Agreement under which the Seattle Times Company publishes both the Seattle Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The case resulted in a significant opinion in favor of the Times from the state Supreme Court. 154 Wn.2d 493, 115 P.3d 262 (Wash. 2005). The remaining issues were resolved by settlement.

Renton v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan et al.
Represented Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and various other Kaiser entities in a purported class action filed on behalf of Kaiser members nationwide claiming that Kaiser breached fiduciary duties owed under ERISA by failing adequately to disclose to enrollees how physicians are compensated and how Kaiser and its physicians determined what care to provide to members. Class certification was denied. Plaintiff's counsel (the Boies Schiller firm) dismissed the complaint with prejudice thereafter. (W.D. Wash. 2001)

United States ex. rel Kimberly Lum v. Vision Service Plan
Represented Vision Service Plan in a qui tam action in which a former employee claimed that VSP presented false claims in connection with providing a vision benefit to Medicaid enrollees. Summary judgment was granted in 2000 for VSP on all false claims allegations. 104 F. Supp. 2d 1237 (D. Haw. 2000)

Professional & Community Activities

  • Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Washington Law School, teaching competition in health law, 2010-present; antitrust law, 2013-present
  • Officer, ABA Section of Antitrust Law, 2013-present
  • Delegate, ABA House of Delegates, 2013-present
  • Member, ABA Section of Antitrust Law Council, 2009-present
  • Chair, Antitrust Practice Group, American Health Lawyers Association, 2010-2013; Vice Chair, 2004-2010
  • Editorial Advisory Board, BNA Health Law Reporter, 2008-present
  • ABA Section of Antitrust Law: Antitrust Section Long Range Planning Committee, 2007-2009; Co-chair, Committee Operations, 2005-2007; Chair, Health Care Industry Committee, 2003-2005; Task Force on Antitrust Section Reserves
  • Chair, Consumer Protection and Antitrust Section, Washington Bar Association, 1995-1996

Professional Recognition

  • Named as one of the "Lawyers of The Year" in Antitrust Law by Best Lawyers, 2015
  • Named as one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in Health Care Law by Best Lawyers, 2001-present; named in Antitrust Law, 2010-present; Commercial Litigation, 2011-present
  • Named as one of "America’s Leading Lawyers for Business" in Commercial Litigation (Washington) by Chambers USA, 2007-2014 
  • Selected to "Washington Super Lawyers," Thomson Reuters, 1999-2014
  • Awarded "2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Health Care" by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected to "2012 Top Rated Lawyers Guide to Health Care Law," Corporate Counsel Magazine
  • Selected to the national list of "BTI Client Service All-Stars," 2012 
DWT recognized by chambers USA, read release
Douglous Ross named lawyer of the year, read the release