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Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Trial Court's Refusal to Compel Arbitration in the Landmark Lawsuit Filed by the Nation's Doctors Against Leading HMOs.

ATLANTA -- Plaintiff's Lead Counsel Archie Lamb: The Order once again supports the doctors' position and will confirm the trial schedule established by Judge Moreno

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an Order affirming United States District Court Judge Federico Moreno's ruling refusing to compel arbitration in the landmark lawsuit filed by the nation's physicians against leading HMOs. The Order clearly affirmed again the district court's refusal to compel arbitration of various claims asserted by the defendant HMOs and declined to stay the litigation of the identified non-arbitrable claims.

The Court noted in the twenty five page opinion that "Because we previously affirmed the district court's refusal to compel arbitration of RICO conspiracy and aiding and abetting claims in a decision not disturbed by the United States Supreme Court, the law of the case doctrine compels us to affirm the district court's order..." The Court further supported the physicians' position and indicated, "...that broad arbitration clauses cannot be extended to compel parties to arbitrate disputes they have not agreed to arbitrate."

"The nation's doctors are once again on track to present the unconscionable actions of the HMOs to a jury in Miami. We are confident that the overwhelming evidence of this long history of abusive contract practices will present a compelling story," commented Archie Lamb, co-lead counsel of the national class action.

It is anticipated that the Order will result in the lifting of the stay associated with the appeal and allow the litigation to continue in accordance with the current trial schedule. The trial is currently scheduled to commence in Judge Moreno's Miami courtroom during the first week of March 2005.

Additional background information on the case can be found at: www.hmocrisis.com. A copy of the Order is also available at that site.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 8, 2004
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