|Contacts:||Ellen Satlof, NATA;
214-637-6282, ext. 159
DISTRICT COURT CLEARS THE WAY FOR ANTITRUST CASE
DALLAS, September 12, 2008 – The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Fair Practice Initiative has scored a key victory in the fight to protect the athletic training profession. By an opinion entered on September 9, 2008, the Federal District Court in Dallas, Texas, denied the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) motion to dismiss the lawsuit and rejected APTA’s request to transfer the case from Dallas to Virginia.
NATA President Marje Albohm, MS, ATC, said the ruling sends an important message to athletic trainers. “This reaffirms our position that athletic trainers are fully qualified, skilled health care providers who have the right to practice to the full extent allowed by our state laws and national certification,” Albohm said. “I am pleased about the Court’s opinion.”
The Court’s decision clears the way for NATA to proceed with its antitrust case. NATA expects that discovery will soon commence. At the same time, Albohm reiterates NATA’s continued willingness to meet with APTA.
“The Court’s favorable ruling does not change NATA’s commitment to productive conversation between NATA and APTA,” Albohm said. “Athletic trainers have always been leaders in teamwork. We simply want to protect our right to practice those skills we are qualified to provide.”
Also in its Sept. 9 ruling, the Court decided the Orthopaedic Section of APTA is not subject to jurisdiction in Texas. NATA is now evaluating its next steps for that portion of the case.
The Fair Practice Initiative was launched in February after APTA and its Orthopaedic Section took actions to unfairly restrict athletic trainers from practicing manual therapy.
National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) – Health Care for Life & Sport:
Athletic trainers are unique health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses. The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents and supports 30,000 members of the athletic training profession. NATA advocates for equal access to athletic trainers for patients and clients of all ages and supports H.R. 1846. Only 42 percent of high schools have access to athletic trainers. NATA members adhere to a code of ethics. www.nata.org.