Court: Plaintiffs Have Pleaded a Pattern
According to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the plaintiffs in Brown v. Cassens Transport Co. pleaded with sufficient particularity at least 13 predicate acts for their Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act claims.
The court ruled that the predicate acts alleged by the plaintiffs were related and:
- Had the same purpose. That purpose, according to the complaint, was to reduce Cassens Transport Co.'s payment obligations toward workers' comp benefits by fraudulently denying claims to which the employees were lawfully entitled. The employees alleged that the employer and claims administrator, as well as "cut-off" doctors hired to block employees from receiving benefits, engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity that denied the claims.
- Had the same result. The complaint said the result was to deny benefits to certain employees who were entitled under Michigan law.
- Had the same participants. The complaint alleged the participants were workers' comp officials at Cassens and Crawford & Co., including Tina Litwiller, a claim adjuster, and Dr. Saul Margules, a doctor who the plaintiffs alleged, with regard to some of the predicate acts, fraudulently recommended ineligibility of benefits at the request of Cassens and Crawford.
- Had similar methods of commission. That commission, the complaint said, was fraudulent misapplication of the legal standards set forth in Michigan workers' comp law in denying benefits to Cassens' employees by Litwiller, other officials working for defendants, or Margules.
March 9, 2009
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