In RightCHOICE Managed Care Inc. et al v. Hospital Partners Inc., the defendants were accused of engaging in a fraudulent bill-ing scheme involving blood lab testing that resulted in more than $18 million in claims payments by the Missouri insurer. The defen-dants were alleged to have conspired to use the hospital as a vehicle for vastly inflating bills for tests the defendants performed. After a nearly two-week trial, the jury awarded the insurer all of the more than $18 million it sought in compensatory damages and $7.6 mil-lion in punitive damages.
Jeff Gleason, co-chair of the firm’s Health Care Litigation Group, says the verdict was especially rewarding in light of the challenges presented by trying the complex case during a pandemic that al-tered the normal courtroom procedure. Jury members were spaced apart from one another in the seating area normally occupied by trial observers. “That creates challenges because we don’t get to see how they are reacting,” he explains.
As with many cases, Gleason says, a key element was the almost countless hours of work the team put in building the case.
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