Judge Grants “Take Nothing” in California State Fund, Palm Medical Group Case

May 4, 2006

San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Donald Mitchell has granted California State Fund’s Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict and has vacated the March 2, 2006, judgment for Palm Medical and has entered judgment in favor of State Fund, according to the group.

Judge Mitchell found that “There is no substantial evidence that the State Fund’s Preferred Provider Network possessed power so substantial over the market for the treatment of occupational injuries in the Fresno area in 2001-2003 that the failure to admit the Plaintiff, Palm Medical Group, Inc., to its Preferred Provider Network significantly impaired the Plaintiff’s ability to practice occupational medicine in the Fresno area.” Judge Mitchell ordered that Plaintiff, Palm Medical Group, Inc. take nothing and that Defendant, State Compensation Insurance Fund, recover its costs and disbursements incurred.

State Fund said it had previously prevailed on March 2, 2006, when the Court denied Palm Medical’s motion for a court order compelling State Fund to admit Palm Medical to its Preferred Provider Network and its Medical Provider Network. Judge Mitchell rejected Palm Medical’s effort to obtain injunctive relief and found that Palm Medical had failed to present sufficient evidence that State Fund engaged in any unlawful conduct in handling Palm Medical’s application to join State Fund’s Medical Provider Network.

James C. Tudor, State Fund Acting President, said, “We are extremely pleased with this verdict. State Fund will continue to provide its policyholders with a Medical Provider Network affording not only quality care for injured employees but cost reductions that result in decreased premiums for California employers.”

To view the court order go to: http://www.sftc.org/.

Source: State Fund

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