Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, September 17, 2012


Page 11



Shernoff Bidart Announces Lawsuit Against Health Net, Inc.


The Beverly Hills law firm of Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley announced Friday that it has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Health Net, Inc.

According to the firm’s media announcement, the suit accuses the insurance company of denying claims for surgeries and other potentially life-saving treatments for its customers based on the company’s practice of overruling the treating doctor’s judgment on what is medically necessary.

The goal of the lawsuit is to force Health Net to stop the use of an unreasonable definition of “medical necessity” in denying legitimate healthcare claims, the statement said.

In the statement, William Shernoff, lead attorney for the plaintiffs said:

“Patients shouldn’t be penalized for following their doctor’s orders. These people can get stuck with huge medical bills.”

In a telephone interview, Shernoff said “We are asking an injunction to stop Health Net from denying care unless the doctor is being completely unreasonable, which rarely happens.”

The lawsuit was brought in conjunction with the L.A. County Medical Association (LACMA) and was announced Thursday at LACMA’s headquarters in downtown Los Angeles with Rocky Delgadillo, the or­ganization’s CEO and a former Los Angeles city attorney. According to the statement, Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley is representing several patients in the suit and LACMA is representing thousands of doctors who are frustrated at watching insurers put their patients’ lives at risk.

The lawsuit is Mendoza, Penner, LACMA v. Health Net of California, Inc., No. BC491954. Information is available by telephoning (310) 462-2252.

The Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Center for Civic Mediation are offering a “30-Hour Basic Mediation Training” on Monday, Oct. 1, Tuesday Oct. 2, Wednesday, Oct. 3, Monday Oct. 8 and Wednesday Oct. 10.

According to LACBA’s statement, this five-day, all-day course introduces the core principles and methods of alternative dispute resolution, “providing a strong foundation in mediation skills through lecture, small group exercises and role-playing.” The statement continues: “Rich in both theory and practice, the training covers the nature of conflict, history of mediation, structure and management of the mediation process, intake and convening, mediation models, cultural awareness and diversity, legal requirements and ethics, maintaining neutrality, communication skills, negotiation, breaking impasse, closure and drafting agreements.”

The LACBA statement says that “The 30-Hour Basic Mediation Training” event fulfills the training requirements of the California Dispute Resolution Programs Act. It begins each day at 9 a.m. at the Ken Edwards Center, 1527 Fourth Street, Santa Monica. Information is available by telephoning 213 896-6560.

The Beverly Hills Bar Association’s Solo and Small Firm Section on Tuesday Oct. 2 is offering an event called “iPad for Lawyers: How to Manage Your Practice Using an iPad.”

According to the BHBA statement, the program “will illustrate how the iPad can streamline the management of your law office and your caseload.”

It adds: “Whether you are a trial attorney, a mediator or in-house counsel, the iPad can help you manage your practice more efficiently.”

The event begins at 6 p.m. at the Beverly Hills Bar Association, 9420 Wilshire Blvd., Second floor, Beverly Hills. Information is available by telephoning (310) 601-2422.


Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company