BOSTON — McDermott Will & Emery recently defeated a plaintiff's motion for class certification in a case that will have a far-reaching impact for consumers, auto insurers and the health care industry.
This action arises from a complaint brought by the plaintiff, Southeast Physical Therapy Services, Inc. (SEPT), against four Massachusetts auto insurers and two health care companies. The defendants were Healthcare Value Management (HCVM), Concentra Managed Care (Concentra), Commerce Insurance Company, Trust Insurance Company, Premier Insurance Company of Massachusetts, Inc. and Arbella Mutual Insurance Company. In the complaint, SEPT sought injunctive relief and monetary damages for breach of contract and unfair trade practices, contending that the defendants violated SEPT's contract with HCVM by initiating and operating a program with a preferred provider organization that provided for discounted payments of personal injury protection medical expenses.
"This is a wonderful victory for consumers and auto insurers, as it preserves an innovative program," said Michael Kendall, the McDermott Will & Emery attorney who represented Concentra. "Under the program, consumers and health care providers could voluntarily agree to participate in a health care PPO. This cut the cost of health care visits, allowing consumers to get more doctor visits within the $2,000 or $8,000 coverage limits under their auto policy," he added.