SKV Persuades Texas Supreme Court to Deny Petition for Review in Class Action Against Major Non-Profit Health Care System
Thursday March 8, 2018
SKV attorneys Craig Smyser, Justin Waggoner, and Michelle Stratton have secured a third victory in defense of a Texas hospital system accused by plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit of charging unreasonable rates for emergency care to uninsured patients. The hospital consistently maintained that its emergency care rates reflect the reasonable value of the services rendered, and that it routinely discounts or waives healthcare charges for uninsured patients under a generous financial assistance policy—financial assistance for which the plaintiff unjustifiably refused to apply. Following SKV’s plea to the jurisdiction on behalf of the hospital system, a Texas trial court dismissed the suit in 2016 on the grounds that the case was not ripe. SKV then successfully defended that decision before the First Court of Appeals, which unanimously affirmed the trial court’s judgment in 2017. On February 16, 2018, the Texas Supreme Court denied the plaintiffs’ petition for review, ending the nearly four-year litigation. Michelle Stratton wrote the briefs at each stage of the litigation and appeal, with invaluable assistance from Craig Smyser and Justin Waggoner.