The appellate group and managed care group represented the firm’s client in the Supreme Court of the United States, reversing an adverse outcome received in the Fifth Circuit. Notwithstanding a media blitz by plaintiffs who claimed to have suffered personal injuries at the hand of HMOs that allegedly “forced” them into treatment regimes against their physicians’ wishes, the Supreme Court refused to accept the plaintiffs’ characterization of their claims. The court held that the claims, at bottom, sought to challenge ERISA benefits determinations for which federal law was the exclusive remedy. In so doing, the Court upheld the right of managed care entities to remove such claims to federal court and, according to the Houston Chronicle, “crushed” the Texas Health Care Liability Act.
Case / Citation: Aetna Health Inc. v. Davila, 124 S. Ct. 2488 (2004)
- Supreme Court Opinion (pdf)