Miller & Chevalier Wins Ninth Circuit Appeal for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona in ERISA Suit
Washington, DC, March 23, 2017 – Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Miller & Chevalier's client in DB Healthcare, LLC v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Ariz., Inc. (No. 14-16518), a suit brought under ERISA in which the plaintiffs, a group of healthcare providers, alleged violations of the Affordable Care Act and ERISA and sought to prevent our client, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona, from recouping mistakenly-paid reimbursements for the providers' services. The providers contended that they are ERISA beneficiaries able, in their own right, to invoke ERISA's enforcement scheme. The firm obtained for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona a dismissal in 2016 in the District Court of Arizona. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal, holding that medical providers are not ERISA beneficiaries and can only bring ERISA lawsuits in a derivative capacity. The court found that the providers in this case lacked derivative standing because the assignment forms they received from ERISA plan beneficiaries were not legally valid, due to anti-assignment provisions in the plans. This decision is the fifth in a series of federal appeals decisions from the Third, Sixth, Seventh, and Eleventh circuits, all of which ruled that medical providers do not qualify as ERISA beneficiaries. Miller & Chevalier also represented the winning Blue Cross Blue Shield Plan in the Seventh Circuit case.
About Miller & Chevalier
Founded in 1920, Miller & Chevalier is a Washington, DC law firm with a global perspective and leading practices in Tax, Employee Benefits (including ERISA), International Law and Business, White Collar and Internal Investigations, Complex Litigation and Government Affairs. In an era of big law, Miller & Chevalier is a top-ranked firm sharply focused on targeted areas that interact with the federal government. Over the past three years, the firm's lawyers have represented more than 40 percent of the Fortune 100, one-quarter of the Fortune 500 and approximately 30 percent of the Global 100. Based in Washington, DC, a significant number of firm lawyers have held senior positions in the U.S. government and have written many of the regulations they currently help clients navigate. For more information on the firm, visit www.millerchevalier.com.
Laura Miller, Media Relations, Greentarget, 312-252-4104