Employers Mutual appeals class action certified by Stack in August

Steve Korris Sep. 30, 2010, 6:40am


MOUNT VERNON - Employers Mutual Insurance wants Fifth District appeals judges to stop a class action Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack certified.

Fifth District clerk John Flood received a petition from Employers Mutual on Sept. 20, seeking leave to appeal an order Stack signed on Aug. 16.

Stack certified chiropractor Frank Bemis to represent all health care providers whose reimbursements for workers compensation claims were reduced by Employers Mutual pursuant to a preferred provider organization discount since 2004.

Bemis sued the insurer as an individual and a corporation, though he didn't perform the treatment that led to the suit and the corporation didn't exist until after he sued.

Stack appointed LakinChapman of Wood River as lead class counsel.

"The attorneys from LakinChapman LLC have regularly engaged in major complex litigation of the size, scope, and complexity similar to this case and have successfully prosecuted and settled many and varied class actions and other complex litigation," Stack wrote.

Bemis sued Employers in 2005, just before the effective date of a reform law that steered most new class actions to federal courts.

Employers offered Bemis $48 to settle his claim, and he turned it down.

Andrew Kuhlmann of LakinChapman wrote, "In addition to reimbursement of all PPO reductions, plaintiff requests an award of attorney's fees under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act."

"Moreover, discovery may establish that there are additional First health PPO reductions that Employers took from plaintiff improperly," he wrote.

Ted Harvey of Belleville represents Employers.

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