Case Details


Charities Regulation, Common Law Powers

Filing State



U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island




Lifespan Corporation v. New England Medical Center, Inc., 731 F. Supp. 2d 232 (D.R.I. 2010)


The court stated, “[t]he Attorney General has both a common-law duty and a specific statutory mandate to protect the public interest and enforce public rights” in the administration of non-profit organizations. . . . “This special status as the representative of the public constitutes a supplement to, rather than a replacement for, the trustees acting in the name of the nonprofit corporation to vindicate its rights.” Thus, the Attorney General has standing to assert her breach of fiduciary duty claim

Case Description

In a dispute between a healthcare system (Lifespan) and one of its former hospitals (New England Medical Center–NEMC) over the terms of their separation, NEMC alleged breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, and unfair business practices. The Massachusetts Attorney General intervened on the NEMC’s side and joined most of the counterclaims against Lifespan. In the course of granting summary judgment to NEMC on the breach of fiduciary duty claims, the court addressed Lifespan’s argument that the Attorney General did not have independent standing to assert the breach of fiduciary duty claim.