Chiropractor without class could still pursue $285.53 claim

Steve Korris Sep. 21, 2007, 12:34am

Nobody looks lonelier than a class action plaintiff with no class.

Chiropractor Richard Coy, who pushed in federal court for a class action big enough to destroy a defendant, now pushes a claim worth $285.53.

In August, U.S. District Judge David Herndon denied Coy's motion to certify a class action against Integrated Health Plan.

Herndon reached a decision after Coy's attorney, Jeff Millar of the Lakin Law Firm, recommended putting Integrated Health Plan out of business.

Millar told Herndon it would be drastic but it would stop their practice of taking improper discounts on medical bills.

Coy can still pursue an individual claim, but federal judges seldom devote themselves to disputes over less than they make in a day.

Coy's slim situation inspired Integrated Health Plan counsel Lauren Papenhausen of Alton to grab for total victory.

On Sept. 18, in the guise of a motion to delay a discovery deadline, she argued for dismissing the case.

"IHP believes that no additional discovery is necessary and that the only schedule that need be set is a schedule for dispositive motions," Papenhausen wrote.

She wrote that Coy's remaining claim was based on $285.53 in discounts.

She wrote that lead plaintiff Ann Stock, another chiropractor, "admittedly has suffered no damages."

"In light of the miniscule and non existent dollar amounts at issue, as well as the legal grounds for dismissal, the extensive discovery already taken of IHP – including thousands of pages of documents produced and two employee depositions – is more than sufficient to allow the court to resolve this matter," she wrote.

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