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Monday, March 28, 2011

Colorado Court Allows RICO Case to Proceed Against Wal-Mart

A partial summary judgment motion was denied by Judge Robert E. Blackburn in a pending Colorado case against Wal-Mart where the plaintiff alleged that the employer,  working in concert with other defendants "dictated and interfered unlawfully " with employees who were entitle to medical treatment flowing from occupational accidents. 

The Court stated that, "The plaintiffs allege that the defendants improperly required, and continue to require, treatment providers to follow protocol notes that improperly direct and/or restrict the medical treatment provided to injured Wal-Mart workers under the Act. The plaintiffs allege that the policies implemented by the defendants result in delays in the injured workers' receipt of treatment, denial of prescribed medical treatment, withholding of benefits, and/or the inability of the injured workers to obtain prescribed medical treatment."

The case involves a certified class of plaintiffs. The defendants had sought to limit the number of claimants by shortening the statute of limitations for the viability of the claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. § 1961-1968. Since the relevant time periods were not evident on the face of the complaint, and the defendants did not offer proof to establish it, the Court denied the motion.

Gianzero v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., 2011 WL 1085647 (D. Colo. 2011) Decided March 24, 2011.