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(c) 2014 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Federal court denies motion to add Medicare secondary reimbursement claims to a pending class action

A United States District Court handling Vioxx litigation has denied as application to add Medicare reimbursement claims to the pending application. 

"The Court has reviewed the briefs and finds that denying leave to amend is appropriate because the proposed joinder of these new Defendant Law Firms is not the most expeditious way to dispose of the merits of these matters. First, the Court finds that the proposed amendment violates Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20. The Court previously granted a motion to sever the Plan Plaintiffs' claims pursuant to Rule 21(a). See AvMed II, 2008 WL 4681368, at *5–8. As the Court held in AvMed II, the Plan Plaintiffs' bring different claims pursuant to different health benefit plan language to pursue liens over funds owed to different claimants in different factual circumstances. See id. This diversity between the claims of the individual Plan Plaintiffs meant that the rights to relief asserted did not arise out of the same transactions or occurrences and did not present common questions of law or fact. See id. (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a)). Therefore, the Court recognized the risk of “transform[ing] this litigation into an action against approximately 15,000 defendants, each of whom has entered into a separately negotiated health plan contract and each of whom has received medical benefits under highly individualized factual circumstances.” See id. at *8. Accordingly, the Court exercised its discretion to sever the improperly-joined claims of the individual Plan Plaintiffs."
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Jon L.Gelman of Wayne NJ, helping injured workers and their families for over 4 decades, is the author NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson).  

In re Vioxx Products Liab. Litig., MDL 1657, 2012 WL 6045910 (E.D. La. Dec. 4, 2012)
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