A case management conference is set next week for a class action suit against an insurance company that plaintiffs claim withheld monies due them by using improper Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) discounts.

Chiropractor Frank Bemis, his practice and fellow chiropractors Dale Fischer and Thomas Kaltenbronn, are seeking to lead a class of fellow healthcare providers against Pekin Insurance Co.

The suit is nearly identical to pending suits filed by other Madison County chiropractors Richard Coy and Lawrence Shipley.

Two of those suits, Shipley, Coy v. First Health and Coy v. AIG, have moved into the settlement phase, although the settlement in the Shipley case is contested.

According to the complaint, Pekin used improper managed care techniques and allegedly took improper PPO discounts from workers' compensation and personal injury claims of class members.

The chiropractors are suing the company on the grounds of civil conspiracy, violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, unjust enrichment and breach of contract.

The suit seeks damages of no more than $75,000 per individual class member and costs.

In its Aug. 4 motion for sanctions, Bemis and Associates claim that Pekin has failed to comply with its requests for discoverable documents despite constant requests and two motions to compel.

The plaintiffs are represented by Jeffery Millar.

Pekin is represented by Robert Chemers.

The conference is scheduled for Aug. 26 at 9 a.m.

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder will also hear a motion for sanctions filed by the plaintiffs Sept. 4.

The case is Madison case number 05-L-165.

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