Allstate sued our clients, both medical providers and individual physicians, who were reimbursed for medical treatment under the New Jersey No-Fault Law, alleging violations of the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Protection Act (“IFPA”); common law fraud; violation of the NJ Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”); and unjust enrichment.
Healthcare Practice Group Chair Mohamed Nabulsi and Partner Michael Kivowitz lead the charge for the Mandelbaum Barrett PC team, who filed a motion to dismiss all claims on the basis that the claims must be arbitrated (and not litigated in court) pursuant to the New Jersey No-Fault Law. In granting the motion, the court reasoned that the plain language of the No-Fault Law provides that any dispute regarding the recovery of benefits for Personal Injury Protection coverage arising out of the use, ownership, or operation of an automobile must be arbitrated. The court also held that the IFPA claim did not preclude arbitration. Analyzing the language of the IFPA, the court held that, while the IFPA allows claims to be brought in a “court of competent jurisdiction,” that clause does not prohibit arbitration. The court held that, under the plain meaning of the statutory language, Allstate’s RICO, IFPA, common law fraud, and unjust enrichment claims do not elude the No-Fault Law’s arbitration mandate and, accordingly, dismissed all claims in favor of arbitration.
In federal court, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has declined to dismiss the IFPA claims in similar cases in favor of arbitration (even though it dismissed RICO and common law claims in favor of arbitration in these cases). Mandelbaum Barrett PC is representing its clients in those cases in appeals pending before the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.
Although the favorable decision described above relates to a state-court action, the holding is significant for healthcare providers.
Allstate has appealed the state-court decision, which Mandelbaum Barrett PC and its clients will oppose.
These stories are successful case results from our attorneys. Please note that results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.