Update: “Brockovich’s Medicare-billing lawsuits tossed”

Glamor proved no substitute for legal merit as U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan in San Diego dismissed two lawsuits by the highly publicized Brockovich against major hospital chains, alleging that the chains should refund to Medicare sums spent on treating injuries caused by earlier hospital negligence (see Jun. 22). The suits “made no specific claims of patient injury” but instead proffered studies estimating the nationwide incidence of negligent patient injury in hospitals. The judge termed the claims “speculative allegations” intended to allow Brockovich and the lawyers for whom she was fronting to “begin a fishing expedition”. “The judge also noted that Brockovich, 46, was not eligible to receive Medicare benefits, was never treated at any of the Scripps or Sharp hospitals, and was never injured by hospital staff misconduct.” (Keith Darcé, San Diego Union-Tribune, Nov. 16). For more on Brockovich’s activities generally, follow links from Nov. 3, 2005.

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