Crowder to hear motion to resolve disputes in Bemis class action settlement

Amelia Flood Dec. 14, 2010, 10:38am


Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder is set to resolve disputed claims in a 2005 Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) class action settlement she approved last year.

Class counsel Bradley Lakin filed the motion to resolve the disputed claims in the September 2009 settlement of a case against The Cincinnati Insurance Company and Cincinnati Casualty Company on Nov. 1.

It will be heard at 9:30 a.m. on Friday.

The class, led by Frank Bemis and his chiropractic office, includes those providing medical treatment for workers compensation claims wrongfully reduced by Cincinnati's PPO discounts from Feb. 15, 2000 to June 3, 2009.

Four class members opted out of the settlement.

The settlement provided class members with up to 90 percent of the reduced bills with Cincinnati paying up to $3.5 million total.

Bemis, as lead plaintiff, netted an award of $5,000.

Lakin and his team took home $770,000 in attorneys' fees.

The settlement was approved Sept. 3, 2009.

Bemis and fellow chiropractor Lawrence Shipley led a number of PPO class actions in Madison County in the early part of this decade.

The suits were filed by the then partnership of Freed & Weiss of Chicago and the Lakin Law Firm.

The partnership fell apart in 2007.

Freed & Weiss withdrew from the Cincinnati case in April 2008.

In the motion to resolve the disputed claims, the plaintiff's counsel writes that on Nov. 23, 2009, class member IBJI submitted a claim under the settlement.

In January of this year, the claims administrator for the settlement sent a cure letter to IBJI requesting that the class member cure a part of its claim and that it submit those documents no more than 10 days following the date of letter.

The claims administrator allegedly found problems with IBJI's supporting documents that were required under the settlement.

IBJI then asked Lakin for more time to fix the documents and, after Lakin contacted his clients, they denied the request.

IBJI received a partial denial of its claim in March.

On March 24, IBJI sent Cincinnati a letter contesting the partial denial.

Cincinnati then sent Lakin a letter in April continuing to deny the claim.

Lakin writes that while IBJI and the Cincinnati defendants have tried to resolve the issue, they have not been able to do.

He asks Crowder to review the matter and to decide it.

The IBJI claim is the only one requiring Crowder's decision, according to the motion.

Lakin and Timothy Campbell represent the class.

Steven Schwartz and others represent the defendants.

The case is Madison case number 05-L-178.

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