• Healthcare Litigation 

    Manatt’s full-service Healthcare Litigation practice is committed to protecting the interests of providers and payors.  We offer an unparalleled combination of deep understanding of the complex and dynamic healthcare field, strong relationships with, and high-level access to, the regulatory, legislative, and enforcement entities and officials critical to your business, and the ability and experience to take complex matters to trial.  

    Our ability to provide outstanding service to our litigation clients is enhanced significantly by our extensive healthcare regulatory and corporate practices.  Our experience in the nation’s two most innovative and complex healthcare law environments - California and New York – when combined with our respected government advocacy capabilities in the District of Columbia and major state capitals, means we can provide healthcare clients with unsurpassed legal and business advice.  We have been at the forefront of virtually every major provider and health plan litigation issue in California in the past five years.  

    Our substantial healthcare regulatory and corporate practice also allows our litigation clients to obtain legal counseling and advice when seeking to structure their operations to avoid litigation down the road.  The fact that we have generally addressed these issues before and do not need to learn the law as we go along, not only gives our clients the benefit of experienced advisors, but offers considerable cost savings as well.  

    Manatt in Action
    At the end of the day, results are what count; and, simply put, we win cases.  Over the past five years we have prevailed for our clients in noteworthy, precedent-setting actions, including cases that have been described by pundits (and sometimes even by our clients) as unwinnable.  For example: 

    • The entire HMO system in California was on trial in a lawsuit for our client, a major California health plan.  At issue was whether the state’s health plans can be held responsible for decisions they delegate to medical groups.  The plaintiff had been denied certain medical services by the delegated medical group, including an MRI, and later was found to have a brain tumor.  We prevailed before a Los Angeles jury at trial, while also blocking filmmaker Michael Moore from turning the jury trial into a circus. The Court of Appeal subsequently handed down a unanimous opinion, adopting our legal arguments and making new law in California. 
    • We recently prevailed on behalf of our client, a hospital system, in an  important, published appellate decision in the medical staff arena.  The decision affirms the ultimate authority of the hospital's governing body to decide who gets to practice at the hospital.  In Ellison v Sequoia Health Services, a Judicial Review Committee ("JRC") refused to recommend corrective action regarding a physician who was dishonest about his professional background and qualifications. The JRC had itself found the physician was dishonest, but it would not recommend any remedy to match its finding.  That left it to the hospital's board to act, which it did by terminating the physician's medical staff membership and privileges. 
    • We prevailed for a California health plan in a much-watched jury trial in California concerning the carrier’s right to rescind a plan agreement based on misrepresentations made by the plaintiffs in their application for coverage.  This was the first health plan rescission case tried to a jury.  
    • We successfully defended a nursing home management company and several affiliates in a putative class action challenging the standard of care at the facilities and alleging violations of various state and federal regulations.  The court sustained our demurrer without leave to amend, concluding that the plaintiff lacked standing to pursue a Consumers Legal Remedies Act claim. 
    • We obtained summary judgment for a multi-hospital system in a class action suit claiming that our clients’ hospitals throughout Southern California conspired to suppress salaries for nurses. The lawsuit is similar to other cases pending across the United States and was the first one where summary judgment was obtained.  
    • We have acted as lead counsel for a wide spectrum of healthcare entities in more than 25 Medicare/Medicaid-related matters, including cases brought under the False Claims Act, and more than 100 Medicare/Medicaid civil and criminal investigations.  The subject matters of these cases ranged from billing, quality-of-care and wrongful death issues, to failure by government agencies to follow applicable statutes and regulations.  We have also litigated a variety of cases for Medicare Advantage plans, including successfully establishing federal preemption and obtaining dismissals for failure to exhaust the Medicare Advantage review procedures.  
    • We represented a health plan in a RICO action brought by a nationwide class of 900,000 physicians.  Filed in 2003, the suit alleged that every one of our client’s health plans in the country had engaged in a RICO conspiracy to systematically underpay physicians.  Over the years this suit was pending, almost every other insurer decided to settle for hundreds of millions of dollars in cash payments to the class, along with commitments to make important business changes over a multi-year period.  Similarly, almost all of the defendant health plans opted to settle, but our client did not.  In early 2009, the District Court in Miami, Florida, granted our client’s motion to dismiss with prejudice.   
    • After a decade of unsuccessful attempts to merge and having dealt with prosecutions filed by the Department of Justice and the state of Florida, a Florida-based hospital system hired Manatt. Working with the government, we secured early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and, within a year, handled a merger of the two hospital systems without litigation. 
    • We prevailed for a health plan client on ERISA preemption grounds in a class action that asserted various state law causes of action alleging that our client had violated the emergency care provisions of the Knox-Keene Act.  The plaintiff argued that ERISA could not preempt claims arising under California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL), which at the time did not require a plaintiff to have suffered any injury in order to maintain a claim.  Among other arguments, the plaintiff asserted – in a question of first impression – that if anyone, including an uninjured person, could bring a UCL claim under California law, persons in ERISA plans certainly could do so as well.  The trial court rejected this argument, holding that ERISA preempted the claims.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed in a published decision.  
    • In a case of first impression affirming dismissal of a UCL action against our healthcare provider client, the appellate court held that the trial court properly abstained from adjudicating claims that would have required the court to usurp the assigned state agency’s regulatory authority over nurse staffing. 
    • On behalf of a New York health plan, we challenged denial by the New York Insurance Department regarding proposed reconfiguration of our health insurer client’s rating region and obtained an order from the New York State Supreme Court requiring the Department to grant our client’s request.  
    • We successfully represented a major healthcare system in a first impression decision affirming dismissal of a proposed class action complaint that alleged system-wide violations of the California Labor Code and UCL based upon alleged failure to pay for rest and meal breaks for labor and delivery nurses.  
    • We represented hospitals and nursing facilities in obtaining dismissal of litigation brought by Erin Brockovich seeking to recover sums allegedly due the federal government under the Medicare Secondary Payer statute.
    • On behalf of a nursing home provider, we obtained dismissal of a UCL class action alleging unlawful and unfair practices relating to the purchase of indemnity insurance for claims made under California's Elder Abuse Act. 
    • We represented a dental service provider in litigation concerning regulatory compliance and corporate governance. 
    • On behalf of a physician group, we obtained a UCL permanent injunction precluding one of its competitors from accepting unlawful kickbacks for patient referrals, as well as an award of attorneys’ fees for our client.

    Attorneys & Professionals

    Allen, Joanna L. San Francisco 415.291.7620
    Bloomgarden, Craig S. Los Angeles 310.312.4240
    Briggs, Amy B. San Francisco 415.291.7451
    Castillo, Sirena Los Angeles 310.312.4336
    Fabrikant, Robert Washington, D.C. 202.585.6556
    Fogarty, John T. Los Angeles 310.312.4165
    Hummel, Chad S. Los Angeles 310.312.4197
    Knudsen, Amanda M. San Francisco 415.291.7466
    Landsberg, Barry S. Los Angeles 310.312.4259
    Laska, Joseph E. Los Angeles 310.312.4352
    LeBlanc, John M Los Angeles 310.312.4228
    Libby, John F. Los Angeles 310.312.4342
    Maas, Carri San Francisco 415.291.7459
    Maurer, Jeffrey J. Los Angeles 310.312.4132
    McCallum, Joanna S. Los Angeles 310.312.4370
    McGrath, Colin Los Angeles 310.312.4162
    Mendoza, Lydia M. Los Angeles 310.312.4257
    Peluso, Kimo S. New York 212.790.4570
    Pimstone, Gregory N. Los Angeles 310.312.4133
    Pines, Adam Los Angeles 310.312.4322
    Rutenberg, Craig S. Los Angeles 310.312.4333
    Seiling, Brad W. Los Angeles 310.312.4234
    Shah, Nirav S. New York 212.790.4511
    Shenfeld, Doreen W. Los Angeles 310.312.4346
    Struve, Andrew H. Orange County 714.338.2757
    Thompson, Martin J. Orange County 714.371.2530

    Healthcare Litigation

    Selected Clients

    • Blue Shield of California
    • Dignity Health (formerly known as Catholic Healthcare West)
    • Kindred Healthcare, Inc.
    • St. Joseph Health System
    • Tenet Healthcare Corporation
  • Awards & Rankings

    logo/img/@altRanked for Healthcare Law 2007–2014

    logo/img/@altRanked Nationally in Tier 1 for Healthcare Law 2011–2015

    logo/img/@altRanked in Tier 1 Nationally for Healthcare: Health Insurers 2012–2014

    logo/img/@altRanked Nationally for Healthcare: Service Providers 2012–2014