On March 19, 2014 the parties in the DOE v. United litigation in the Central District of California filed with the Court a request for preliminary approval of a nationwide settlement of claims arising out of the use by United Healthcare of a mandatory program to require HIV/AIDS patients to obtain specialty medications through a Specialty Pharmacists, usually Optum Rx. For more information about the lawsuit and the settlement, please see the press release below.

United_PressRelease_Settlement Announcement

 

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Families who bought certain types of Gerbers “tagless” children’s clothing are entitled to refunds, discounts and re-imbursement for skin rashes, under a class-action settlement.

Attorneys for a class of persons who bought “tagless” clothing for children and infants announced that they have reached a settlement with Gerber Childrenswear which lets anyone who purchased certain tagless clothes between 2005 and 2009 to either get free garments or vouchers for up to 25% off their next Gerber purchase. The vouchers give discounts that can be used “on top of” other standard discounts offered by Gerber.

The lawsuit alleged that certain tagless clothes contained irritating chemicals. Families whose kids suffered rashes or irritation are also entitled to their medical expenses, such as doctor’s bills and ointments, up to $100 per person.
Anyone who purchased Gerber tagless clothing from India between 2005 and 2009 qualifies. The label on the clothing said if the garment was from India. For details as to what clothing is impacted, go to the following settlement website:

- http://www.gcwsettlement.com/CaseInfo.aspx?pas=GCM .

If you have the lot number on your garment (which is on the inside , that for example says “Made in India”) you can enter the number to see if you have a qualifying garment.

Different families will get different amounts depending on whether they still have the clothing and whether anyone got a rash or irritation:

1. If you still have the clothes and have receipts or other proof showing you paid to treat skin rashes you can get a full refund for the clothing plus their medical expenses up to $100 per person.

2. If you still have the clothes and can show you or your family suffered from skin rashes but you do not still have receipts for their treatment you can get a full refund for the clothing plus medical expenses up to $10 per person.

3. If you still have the clothing but cannot prove that anyone got a rash or irritation, you can still get a voucher for $25% off future purchases of Gerber clothing or trade in ten used garments for one new one (3 new item limit).

4. If you don’t have the clothing but can prove that you or your family got rashes or irritation, you can get a 15% voucher which can be used on top of other Gerber discounts.

5. If you don’t have the clothing and cannot prove that anyone got a rash or irritation, you can still get a 10% voucher which can be used on top of other Gerber discounts.

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Blue Cross Settles Lawsuit Alleging Discrimination

As an update to an earlier post about an action recently filed against Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross patients with HIV/AIDS may “opt-out” of a program that would have required them to obtain their medications by mail order under a settlement announced today by Whatley Kallas LLC and Consumer Watchdog.  Alan Mansfield was one of the primary attorneys working on this matter.

The lawsuit, filed in January in San Diego Superior Court, alleged that Blue Cross’s mandatory mail order program announced late last year illegally targeted HIV/AIDS patients, threatening their health and privacy.

For a link to the Settlement Agreement, please click on the following link:

http://www.whatleykallas.com/index.php/publications-news/news/191-blue-cross-to-allow-hiv-aids-patients-to-opt-out-of-mandatory-mail-order-rx-drug-program

“Blue Cross should be commended for listening to the serious and heartfelt concerns of their customers who depend on local pharmacists for their life-saving medications,” said Edith Kallas of Whatley Kallas LLC. “This settlement ensures that Blue Cross’s mail order program benefits consumers without unfairly targeting its most vulnerable patients and providing them appropriate opportunities to choose what is best for them.”

“This settlement brings to a close a nerve-racking episode for HIV/AIDS patients who faced serious threats to their health and privacy,” said Jerry Flanagan, staff attorney for Consumer Watchdog, one of the co-counsel that worked on this action. “Today, these patients can focus on their health rather than worry about how, when or even if they’ll get their medications.”

Due to the complex nature of HIV/AIDS drug regimens, patients rely on their local pharmacists who, working directly with patients, monitor potentially life-threatening adverse drug interactions. Pharmacists also provide essential advice and counseling that help HIV/AIDS patients and families navigate the challenges of living with a chronic and often debilitating condition.

HIV/AIDS patients also expressed serious concerns about a loss of privacy associated with the proposed mail order program. For example, HIV/AIDS specialty medications often are delivered in refrigerated containers. Patients who live in apartment buildings or have medications delivered to their work place expressed concern that neighbors and co-workers who were not aware of their condition would come to suspect that they were seriously ill. Mail-order shipment also presents the risk of lost or stolen medications.

As a result of the settlement, which was approved today by entry of a Consent Order by the Hon. Judith Hayes of the San Diego Superior Court, any current Blue Cross member prescribed HIV/AIDS medications, and any member prescribed those medications in the future, have an unconditional right to opt-out of the Blue Cross mail-order program at any time. Blue Cross members who opt-out can continue purchasing such medications at a retail pharmacy.

Beginning June 1, Blue Cross members will be able to opt-out of the mail-order program by contacting Blue Cross’s mail-order pharmacy, CuraScript, on a dedicated toll-free telephone line. Consumers currently prescribed such medications should receive a letter late next week from Blue Cross providing this telephone number and additional instructions for opting-out. Blue Cross members may also submit a claim for reimbursement of any out-of-pocket costs incurred as a result of enrolling in the CuraScript mail-order program between December 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013.

The lawyers of Whatley Kallas, LLC have been repeatedly recognized in legal publications, such as The National Law Journal and American Lawyer, by their peers and by leaders of organized medicine for their work in the healthcare field. For more information, go to: http://www.whatleykallas.com/

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New York Times Article about Dollar action

April 8, 2013

To review article, please visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/06/your-money/for-car-renters-signing-on-the-electronic-tablet-may-mean-trouble.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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Blue Cross Sued for Discriminating Against HIV/AIDS Patients

January 15, 2013

New Pharmacy Program Threatens Health and Privacy In a move that threatens the health and privacy of patients, Blue Cross of California has illegally targeted HIV/AIDS patients, and other seriously ill consumers, with a new program that will bar them from local pharmacies, according to the allegations in a new state-wide class action lawsuit. You [...]

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Aetna Class Action Settlement

January 4, 2013

Whatley Kallas has recently announced a $120 million class action settlement of certain claims regarding out of network payments against Aetna. For a summary of the settlement and a link to the settlement agreement, please review the attached information release: Whatley Kallas Announces Settlement With Aetna As preliminary approval of this settlement is pending, there [...]

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A Couple Recent Accomplishments

January 4, 2013

Alan Mansfield was recently named to the Board of Governors for the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, one of the largest associations in California of plaintiffs and defense counsel and judges. In addition, Mr. Mansfield learned this week he had received an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell, the highest ranking available for attorneys in the [...]

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Court Certifies Class of Consumers Using Pathway Financial Management Services

November 29, 2012

On November 28, 2012, Judge James Selna of the United States District Court for the Central District of California certified a class of consumers located nationwide who since 2008 signed up for debt negotiation and settlement prorater services with a company called Pathway Financial Management, located in Garden Grove, California. Notice to the class is [...]

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Class Certified For Purchasers of POM Juice

October 8, 2012

On September 27, 2012, Judge Pregerson of the Central District of California certified a nationwide class of purchasers of POM juice drinks. CLGCA and Alan Mansfield is one of the counsel for plaintiffs in this action. Click below to review an article about this decision. Class_Certified_Against_Juice_MFR

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CLGCA IN The News

October 8, 2012

People may find of interest the attached article about the appeal in Rivera v. Holder, the First Amendment case brought by an unindicted member of the Mongols Motorcycle Club. News Article

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