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Judge approves $90M for Anthem plaintiffs

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A federal judge has approved the largest class-action settlement to come out of an Indianapolis court, paying $90 million to former Anthem Inc. policyholders.

The settlement will go to 700,000 claimants in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Connecticut, who said Anthem underpaid them when it converted in 2001 from policyholder ownership into publicly traded company WellPoint Inc.

The settlement is likely to be a big victory for a small Indianapolis firm, DeLaney & DeLaney, the only local law practice that worked on the case. The six law firms that worked on behalf of plaintiffs are requesting $30 million in fees.

The plaintiffs alleged they were underpaid in a range from $227 million to $448 million, but WellPoint contended it owed them nothing.

Judge Tanya Walton Pratt found after an Oct. 25 hearing that terms of the settlement were fair, reasonable and adequate, but her ruling on attorney fees is forthcoming.

Pratt also granted a “case contribution” award to the lead plaintiffs, Mary Ormond and Kevin Heekin, and approved expenses and costs. WellPoint’s attorney, Craig Hoover, took no position on the settlement plan.

 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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