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US: Judge allows class-action antitrust suit against NorthShore to proceed

 |  September 14, 2016

US District Judge Edmond E. Chang denied Evanston, Ill.-based NorthShore University HealthSystem’s motion for summary judgment Sept. 9 in a class-action antitrust lawsuit, according to the Cook County Record.

In the suit, a group of health insurers and patients allege they were overcharged for healthcare services by NorthShore nearly 16 years ago when the system acquired Highland Park Hospital.

In its motion for summary judgment, NorthShore argued the suit should be barred, as the four-year statute of limitations for the claim had already expired when plaintiffs filed suit in 2004. The system argued the clock on the statute of limitations began ticking when the plaintiffs first became aware of the transaction.

Judge Chang disagreed with NorthShore, saying it was not to late for plaintiffs to bring their legal action, as the statute of limitations didn’t begin to run until they received the higher bills from NorthShore after the acquisition was completed.

“As far as the class could tell as of Jan. 1, 2000, NorthShore was touting that the merger was only going to benefit consumers, [managed care organizations], and the communities that the three hospitals served,” Judge Chang wrote, according to the Cook County Record. “And here, class members could not have discovered that they suffered any injury as a result of the merger until they knew that NorthShore had illegally overcharged them for its healthcare services.”

Full Content: Becker Hospital Review

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