Posts tagged "Chiropractic"

Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. Peoples Best Care Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, Inc., et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-047-17)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT. 1684CV01239-BLS2 ____________________ LIBERTY MUTUAL INS. CO. v. PEOPLES BEST CARE CHIROPRACTIC AND REHABILITATION, INC.; PLEASANT VALLEY CHIROPRACTIC LLC; and RAGHUBINDER BAJWA, M.D., P.C. ____________________ MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ALLOWING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT This lawsuit concerns the rates that Liberty Mutual Insurance Company pays to chiropractic clinics under Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) benefit provisions in personal automobile insurance policies. Liberty seeks a declaration that an Illinois court’s final judgment that approved the settlement of a nationwide class action regarding these rates is entitled to full faith and credit in Massachusetts and binds the three Defendants, who did not opt out of the Illinois proceeding and therefore are members of the plaintiff class in that case. Defendant Raghubinder Bajwa, M.D., P.C., was defaulted for failing to answer the complaint. Defendants Peoples Best Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, Inc. (“PBC”) and Pleasant Valley Chiropractic LLC (“PVC”) (collectively, the remaining “Defendants”) oppose Liberty’s request and assert counterclaims seeking to bar Liberty from implementing the settlement. The Court concludes that Liberty is entitled to summary judgment in its favor on all claims. With respect to Liberty’s affirmative claim, the Court concludes that there is an actual controversy between the parties and that the Illinois final order and judgment is entitled to full faith and credit in Massachusetts courts. In addition, Liberty is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on Defendants’ counterclaims. Defendants sought leave to conduct certain discovery before the Court decided Liberty’s summary judgment motion. The Court denies this request because none of the discovery sought by Defendants concerns any factual issue relevant to whether Liberty is entitled to summary judgment. 1. Factual Background. Liberty was the defendant in a multi-state class action filed in Illinois state court to challenge the way Liberty determines what rates it will pay to chiropractors and other medical care providers under the no-fault PIP – 2 – provisions of personal automobile insurance policies. The Illinois case was captioned Leonon Chiropractic Clinic, P.C. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and docketed as Illinois Circuit Court for St. Clair County, no. 14-L-52. Liberty compares billed charges for medical treatment to a database of charges that Liberty believes are for similar services provided in the same geographic area. Since 2011 Liberty has done so using data maintained by a non-profit company called FAIR Health, Inc. Liberty generally refuses to pay rates any higher than the 80th percentile of similar charges according to the FAIR Health data. The plaintiffs in the Illinois case claimed that this practice was unlawful. The parties to the Illinois lawsuit entered into a Stipulation of Settlement in October 2014 that would resolve all claims on behalf of a proposed class. […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 27, 2017 at 8:06 pm

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Barron Chiropractic & Rehabilitation, P.C. v. Norfolk & Dedham Group (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-171-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11561   BARRON CHIROPRACTIC & REHABILITATION, P.C.  vs.  NORFOLK & DEDHAM GROUP. Norfolk.     May 5, 2014. – October 15, 2014.   Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.[1]     Insurance, Motor vehicle personal injury protection benefits, Unfair act or practice.  Contract, Insurance.  Practice, Civil, Summary judgment, Attorney’s fees.  Consumer Protection Act, Insurance.       Civil action commenced in the Dedham Division of the District Court Department on November 25, 2009.   The case was heard by James J. McGovern, J., on a motion for summary judgment.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Francis A. Gaimari (Robert N. Fireman & Stephen B. Byers with him) for the plaintiff. Joseph R. Ciollo (Michael L. Snyder with him) for the defendant. E. Michael Sloman, for Automobile Insurers Bureau, amicus curiae, submitted a brief. Christopher M. Moutain, for American Insurance Association & others, amici curiae, submitted a brief.     LENK, J.  The personal injury protection (PIP) provision of the automobile insurance statute permits an unpaid party to bring an action for breach of contract against an automobile insurer if the latter has not paid PIP benefits for more than thirty days after those benefits became due and payable.  G. L. c. 90, § 34M, fourth par.  If the unpaid party receives a judgment for any amount due and payable by the insurer, it also may recover its costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.  The primary question before us is whether an unpaid party who has brought suit and thereafter refused the insurer’s tender of amounts due and payable, made prior to the entry of judgment, may proceed with the suit and, if successful, obtain a judgment for those amounts as well as its costs and attorney’s fees.  We conclude that it may proceed with the action under G. L. c. 90, § 34M. 1.  Background.  The plaintiff, Barron Chiropractic & Rehabilitation, P.C. (Barron), provided chiropractic services to Nicole Jean-Pierre following her automobile accident on August 20, 2008.  Jean-Pierre was injured while driving a vehicle insured by the defendant Norfolk & Dedham Group (Norfolk) pursuant to G. L. c. 90, § 34A, which requires compulsory motor vehicle liability insurance, including PIP benefits.[2]  See G. L. c. 90, §§ 34A, 34M. Norfolk received notice of the accident on August 22, 2008, and, on October 10, 2008, received Jean-Pierre’s application for PIP benefits.[3] Shortly thereafter, pursuant to its contractual right […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 15, 2014 at 8:00 pm

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