Mudge to hear more arguments on $500,000 disputed Cincinnati PPO settlement claim

Amelia Flood Mar. 23, 2011, 3:15am


Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge is set to hear more arguments over a settlement claim worth $500,000 brought by a class member who settled with Cincinnati Insurance Company and Cincinnati Casualty Company.

Mudge heard arguments in December 2010 on the disputed claims filed by class member the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute (IBJI).

The judge took the arguments for and against payment of the claim under advisement and gave the parties additional time to file supporting documents for his review.

The hearing is set for 10 a.m. on March 24.

IBJI was one of 32,000 healthcare providers in Illinois that claimed the insurance companies took PPO discounts that they were not entitled to from workers' compensation treatment claims.

Led by chiropractor Frank Bemis, the class eventually settled the 2005 class action for $3.5 million.

Bemis led a number of similar class actions against insurers over the PPO discounts.

Those suits were filed by the then-partnership of the Wood River Lakin Law Firm and Chicago-based Freed & Weiss.

The partnership ended in 2007.

The Lakin firm's new incarnation, LakinChapmann LLC, took over representation of the Bemis-Cincinnati class.

Bemis took home $5,000 as lead representative.

His attorneys including class counsel Robert Schmieder II got more than $700,000 in legal fees.

IBJI, according to filings and arguments made by Schmieder II, originally filed a claim worth $458,000.

Cincinnati paid $57,000 of that claim.

The insurance company rejected the rest of IBJI's claims alleging that it did not submit the correct documentation and then failed to mend defects in its claims submission.

IBJI then claims it went on to find other discounted claims that it should be paid for.

That brought the entire claim to more than $500,000.

Cincinnati rejected the new claim last year.

Mudge has had the issue under advisement since a hearing Dec. 17.

The case was previously assigned to Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder and former Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

Omar Odland represents Cincinnati.

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

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