MIAMI, March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno
ruled today in his Miami court that the California Medical Association and
individual physicians must amend their lawsuit if they are to prove that the
health plans named as defendants constitute a "racketeering enterprise," but
let stand other major allegations. The ruling rejected health plan motions to
dismiss allegations that health insurers have engaged in unfair contracts, and
wire and mail fraud "constituting a pattern of racketeering activity."
"Doctors and patients should be encouraged that the lawsuit, which takes
aim at insurance companies that have been for years delaying and denying care,
can go forward," said Marie Kuffner, CMA president.
"We are encouraged by the ruling and are hopeful that it is an important
step forward. We are working diligently to amend the complaint," said Archie
Lamb, the plaintiffs' attorney in the lawsuit. The ruling gives CMA and
physicians until March 26 to file an amended complaint. "The ruling also
rejected the classic insurance company claims of ERISA and the
The ruling comes in a case that consolidates two dozen individual lawsuits
filed across the country by physicians as well as the California Medical
Association. The consolidated suit named as defendants Humana, Aetna, Cigna,
Connecticut General Corporation, Foundation and Pacificare Health Systems,
Prudential Insurance Co., United Healthcare and Wellpoint Health Networks.
CMA's original lawsuit, filed in San Francisco in May 2000, named as
defendants Blue Cross of California, Pacificare Health Systems and Foundation
SOURCE California Medical Association